Feb 27, 2014
CWA President Larry Cohen writes in The Huffington Post:
It's not clear what South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is trying to accomplish when she says, as she did on Feb. 20, that corporations with union representation shouldn't even think about locating in her state.
Does she mean that the Port of Charleston should close, because the dockworkers are members of the International Longshoreman's Union who make sure that cargo is shipped all along the East Coast? Maybe she means that telephone service should shut down, because those workers are members of my union, the Communications Workers of America.
Maybe the governor is unaware that South Carolina's right-to-work law, like Tennessee's, makes it illegal to discriminate against workers who chose union representation as well as those who don't.
Here's what the law says: It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this State that the right of persons to work must not be denied or abridged because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or labor organization. (South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 41-7-10.)
Governor Haley, you seem to be violating your own state law.
Of course, politicians like Governor Haley and those in Tennessee, want to overturn labor law and other laws that they don't like. That's why Tennessee politicians threatened both the Volkswagen workers and their company in the recent union election. Workers were told by politicians that if you vote for union representation, Volkswagen won't expand production. Volkswagen was threatened with the loss of financial support and tax incentives, a bizarre approach to the goal of keeping good jobs in the state.
CWA is proud of its 150,000 members and amazing leaders from southern states including South Carolina. Governor Haley is operating at the bottom of the global economy in threatening her own state's workers with gross violations of core global labor standards. Elected officials in almost any other nation would be ashamed to utter the words she seems so proud to proclaim.
Union workers in South Carolina and across the country are joining with allies like civil rights and community groups, to make sure that working people have a voice and a vote. Just across the border, nearly 100,000 people turned out recently for a moral march, sending a message to North Carolina politicians that working people are moving forward together to fight the attack on voting rights and workers' rights in that state. That's how we'll restore those rights to South Carolina, too. Nothing Governor Haley says can stop that.