Gov. Nikki Haley Goes Full Anti-Union In State Of The State Address

The anti-union part begins at 21:13 South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (SC) used her annual state of the state speech to launch an all-out assault on unions and working families. In defense of pro-corporate, pro-1 percent policies, she

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The anti-union part begins at 21:13

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (SC) used her annual state of the state speech to launch an all-out assault on unions and working families. In defense of pro-corporate, pro-1 percent policies, she blamed all the ills of the state, seemingly, on unions. Her claims about the importance to business of attacking unions are belied by the available research, but her campaign contributors aren't interested in facts, just anti-union propaganda.

The most relevant portion of the speech:

Finally, I love that we are one of the least unionized states in the country. It is an economic development tool unlike any other.

Our companies in South Carolina understand that they are only as good as those who work for them, and they take care of their employees.

The people of South Carolina have a strong work ethic, they value loyalty, and they take tremendous pride in the quality of their work.

We don’t have unions in South Carolina because we don’t need unions in South Carolina.

However, as we saw with the assault from the NLRB, the unions don’t understand that. They will do everything they can to invade our state and drive a wedge between our workers and our employers. We can’t have that.

Unions thrive in the dark. Secrecy is their greatest ally, sunlight their most potent adversary.

We can and we will do more to protect South Carolina businesses by shining that light on every action the unions take. With the help and support of Chairman Bill Sandifer and Director Catherine Templeton we will create a competitive playing field for the companies that choose to call our state home.

We will require unions to tell the people of South Carolina how much money they are making on our backs, which politicians they are funding, and how much they are paying themselves.

We will protect the right of every private and public citizen to refuse to join a union, and, by Executive Order, I will make it clear that our state will not subsidize striking workers by paying them unemployment benefits.

And we’ll make the unions understand full well that they are not needed, not wanted, and not welcome in the State of South Carolina.

There are so many lies and twisted comments about unions in that passage it's hard to even take the speech seriously. Except that Haley is the governor of South Carolina and she has many allies in the Republican Party that not only take these things as gospel truth, but are willing to do just about anything to weaken unions.

Erin McKee, in a letter to the editor of the Post and Courier does a better job than I could of taking down Haley's comments:

Unions are needed in South Carolina. Union members are the only workers protected from at-will employment. Union members want to work with management to make their companies safe, have a contract that everyone can understand, have a grievance procedure (like due process) and protect workers.

Unions are the anti-theft device for workers. Is our state better off with low-wage jobs and no benefits? What will that do to our tax base over time, what will that do to our children, what will that do to our middle class? When labor was strong so was our middle class. What will happen to small businesses when people don't make enough money to shop? Do we really want the big business world to take over and have more companies keeping wages so low that the workers need public assistance while they make record profits?

Gov. Haley chose a union facility to have her inauguration. She works in a Statehouse painted by the Painters Union, gets her mail from the United States Postal Service, which has the Postal Workers Union, the National Letter Carriers, the Mail Handlers Union. Most of what she buys more than likely came through the Port of Charleston, where the International Longshoremen's Association handles cargo. She likely uses AT&T which has the Communications Workers of America union.

UPS workers who deliver packages to her office are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The power she consumes is provided from SCE&G whose workers are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Some of our very large companies like Kapstone, Mead Westvaco, Bowater, International Paper are union as are our firefighters and lots of our construction workers.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers did the solar panel job at Boeing in the heat of the summer. Many in our wonderful symphony in Charleston are members of the American Federation of Musicians.

We've got union members at our military bases and VA hospitals. Gov. Haley should be representing everyone in South Carolina including union members.

Well said.

About Kenneth Quinnell

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