WASHINGTON (AP) - A judge has denied Boeing Co.'s request to dismiss a federal lawsuit that claims the company illegally retaliated against unionized workers by moving some work from Washington state to South Carolina
The ruling by Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson allows the National Labor Relations Board to move ahead in presenting its case against Boeing in a Seattle hearing room.
The NLRB alleges that Boeing violated labor laws by opening a new production line for its 787 airplane in South Carolina.
The agency claims Boeing opened the new plant to punish Washington state workers for past strikes and wants the company to return the work to Washington.
Boeing denies the charges, saying it opened the South Carolina plant for valid economic reasons.
A Boeing spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
Boeing opened its North Charleston plant earlier this month, a year and a half after construction crews broke ground.
The plant is the size of 11 football fields and large enough to hold the water of 450 Olympic swimming pools.
Production of the first 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina is expected to begin next month.
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