Nikki Haley Sells Out South Carolina Workforce

The re-election kickoff rally for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was marked by abysmal attendance despite heavily-advertised GOP star power from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. (Photo: Dolph Bell/The Greenville News)

It’s no secret that South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley hates labor unions – you know, the ones who painted the Statehouse where she works, and the thousands of unionized police officers, firefighters, and military employees who keep South Carolina safe every day.

Haley’s most recent attack on organized labor took place at a Wal-Mart summit in Orlando. Click here to watch her comments, which were proudly posted to her own YouTube account.

South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley recently told Wal-Mart executives that she wears heels because “we kick. We kick those unions hard.”

“We don’t have unions in South Carolina,” Haley said with a smirk. “I wear heels. And it’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because we kick. We kick those unions hard. And they will not step foot in the state of South Carolina.”

This isn’t the first time Haley has made remarks to scare her own citizens away from exercising their collective bargaining rights. In her 2012 State of the State address, Haley said, “I love that we are one of the least unionized states in the country.”

And she’s right. At 4.2 percent, South Carolina has the second-lowest percentage of its workforce in a union.

Unfortunately for Haley, the inconvenient truth is that South Carolina also ranks No. 46 in the country for median income. Fifteen percent of her state lives below the poverty line – good for 41st in the country.
But don’t tell Haley that, because she’s too busy selling out her own people – for pennies on the dollar.

“We don’t make you come to South Carolina and conform to our workforce,” Haley told Wal-Mart executives who pay their employees an average of $8.81 per hour. “We conform our workforce to you.”

And it isn’t just rhetoric. In 2012, Haley signed an executive order prohibiting union members from receiving unemployment benefits while they are on strike. Her first appointee to the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation worked for a law firm that boasted its experience in “union avoidance.”   

“Nikki Haley continues to make the exploitation of South Carolina workers a selling point for her state,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “The fact is South Carolinians need union protection now more than ever. They certainly aren’t getting any help from their governor.”