S.C. governor tells unionized companies to stay away

Gov. Haley: "You've heard me say many times I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, in the wake of the UAW's failed attempt to organize Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, is advising companies with union work forces to stay out of her state.

"They're coming into South Carolina. They're trying," Haley said Wednesday, according to a story today in The Greenville News. "We're hearing it. The good news is it's not working."

According to the story, Haley said South Carolina is pleased to have nonunion jobs from BMW, Michelin and Boeing but wouldn't be interested in Detroit 3 factories while she's in office.

"We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don't want to taint the water," she said.

"You've heard me say many times I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement," Haley said. "It's because we're kicking them every day, and we'll continue to kick them."

The paper said Haley's opponent in this year's gubernatorial election, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Democrat, said he believes South Carolina should remain a right-to-work state.

"I also think that if Ford Motor Co. wanted to bring 10,000 jobs to South Carolina, we would welcome them with open arms," Sheheen said. "We need good, high-paying jobs in South Carolina. Part of leadership is putting ideology and partisanship to the side when there's something that could be good for South Carolina."

Haley and other South Carolina Republicans have been outspoken against unions before.

During her first year as governor, the paper said, Republican opposition toward unions grew as the National Labor Relations Board went to court to block the Boeing Co. from building Dreamliner jets at a North Charleston factory.

The NLRB argued that the company had built the plant in South Carolina in retaliation for past union strikes at the company's Washington state operations. It later dropped the complaint, the paper said.

You can reach Andrew Thurlow at athurlow@crain.com

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