S. Carolina's governor: Unions are the enemy
Gov. Nikki Haley: A union buster? “I am -- and I’m proud of it.”
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley makes no bones about it. She doesn't want unions recruiting workers at her South Carolina businesses.
"We're making it very clear to those unions that you're not welcome in South Carolina, so don't try to come into a place where people don't want you," the governor recently told a large applauding audience at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner.
The declaration may seem politically indelicate, even in one of the least unionized states in the nation. Critics of the auto industry's southward migration have long accused automakers and suppliers of building plants in the South merely to avoid union work forces and union pay scales. But companies and politicians routinely have maintained that they are neutral on the subject and have said that union membership is the decision of their workers.
Haley, 40, a conservative Republican elected as the nation's youngest governor in 2010 with the support of the national Tea Party platform, appears to have little interest in political neutrality.
She told the chamber dinner crowd that she had been called a "union buster" by a newspaper reporter earlier that day.
"You know, I am -- and I'm proud of it," she told the audience, to an outburst of applause. "I will tell you that we will continue to be union busters in the state of South Carolina because we don't want and we don't need unions in South Carolina."
You can reach Lindsay Chappell at firstname.lastname@example.org.