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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley wins court battle with unions

August 9, 2011 |  8:05 am

Nikki HaleySouth Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is free to engage in a little trash talk when it comes to unions.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the rising-star GOP governor Monday in a lawsuit filed against her by the AFL-CIO and yjr International Assn. of Machinists, who claimed that Haley’s overt anti-union statements amounted to intimidation in violation of federal labor law, the Associated Press reported.

Unions were peeved in December when Haley, in unveiling her pick to head the state labor agency, said: “We’re going to fight the unions and I need a partner to help me do it.”

In a 34-page ruling Monday, U.S. District Court Judge C. Weston Houck said the unions’ complaint “does not allege the plaintiffs have done anything but talk,” and that just talking wasn’t necessarily a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, according to the AP.

South Carolina is one of numerous Southern right-to-work states that have aggressively wooed industry with the promise of ample non-union labor. More recently, a Boeing Co. plant in the state for assembling the new 787 airliner has become the flashpoint for a national debate about government support for unions in the struggling recovery.

The National Labor Relations Board is suing Boeing, claiming that the company built the plant in South Carolina to retaliate against union workers at its Seattle plant. The board's action has outraged Republicans in Washington, who say it is an example of the Obama administration inhibiting economic growth.


Hiltzik: Congressional Republicans meddle with NLRB case that involves Boeing

Commerce secretary nominee John Bryson becomes pawn in political chess match

-- Richard Fausset

Photo: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley greets Alan Wilson, the state's attorney general, before testifying in June at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the National Labor Relations Board's complaint against Boeing Co. Credit: Bloomberg