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S.C. gov tells unionized companies to stay away

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(Crain News Service photo) Gov. Nikki Haley: “You've heard me say many times I wear heels. It's not for a fashion statement.”

By Andrew Thurlow, Crain News Service

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Feb. 21, 2014) — In the wake of the United Autoworkers' (UAW) failed attempt to organize Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley is advising companies with union work forces to stay out of her state.

"They're coming into South Carolina. They're trying," Ms. Haley said Feb. 19, according to a story Feb. 20 in The Greenville News. "We're hearing it. The good news is it's not working."

According to the story, Ms. Haley said South Carolina is pleased to have nonunion jobs from BMW A.G., Michelin North America Inc. and Boeing Co. 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," Ms. Haley said. "It's because we're kicking them every day, and we'll continue to kick them."

The paper said Ms. 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," Mr. 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."

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

During her first year as governor, according to the newspaper, Republican opposition toward unions grew as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) went to court to block Boeing 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.

This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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