Published Feb. 10, 2012
The S.C. House on Thursday passed a bill that seeks to bolster the state’s right-to-work law.
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Seneca, passed 70-19 on the third reading, and went to the Senate where it was referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.
Ben Homeyer, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, praised the House vote and called on the Senate to pass the bill, too.
Homeyer’s group is South Carolina's largest small-business association, with nearly 4,500 members statewide.
"The unions and their buddies in Washington are gunning for South Carolina," Homeyer said. "We saw that earlier, when the NLRB threatened to sue unless the state attorney general’s office blocked the ratification of a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing workers the right to cast secret ballots on the question of whether to unionize their workplace, and we saw it again when the NLRB tried to stop Boeing from opening its plant in South Charleston.
"If we're serious about attracting jobs, we need to preserve our status as a right-to-work state,” he said.
When he introduced the measure, Sandifer, chairman of the House Labor panel, said the bill would require employers to display an 11- by 14-inch poster containing key provisions of the state’s right-to-work law.
The legislation also would prohibit state and local governments from requiring “project labor agreements” when awarding contracts, incentives or tax credits. Such agreements usually stipulate a percentage of work that must be done with union workers.
In addition, the bill would require unions to disclose to the state financial data that it must file with federal authorities. Unions file financial data with the U.S. Labor Department, which is searchable on the agency’s website.
Less than 5% of the state’s workers are members of unions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.