South Carolina has become a go-to state for the manufacturing industry. Housing companies like BMW, Michelin and Boeing and ready for more.
However, last month Gov. Nikki Haley told manufacturers they are not welcome in the Palmetto State if they plan to bring a unionized workforce.
“It’s not something we want to see happen,” said Gov. Haley at an automotive conference in Downtown Greenville. “We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don’t want to taint the water.”
President Lewis Gossett of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance agrees with Gov. Haley.
“Organized labor has no place down here,” Gossett said. “We don’t need them. We don’t need them to replicate what they’ve done in the Midwest and the Northeast. The governor gets that. And she’s taken some very strong stands about it, and we love it.”
State Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said a company with a unionized workforce hasn’t approached the state in a very long time.
“Companies that are traditional union companies don’t seem to come looking for an operation in South Carolina,” said Hitt. “I think our brand and our image precedes us in that regard.”
However, President of the South Carolina chapter of the AFL-CIO Erin McKee doesn’t think Gov. Haley is helping.
“South Carolinians have the right to have good jobs, and if those are union jobs, they’re union jobs,” McKee said. “And to keep jobs from coming here because they’re union, I don’t think she’s representing the people.”
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