Something that most South Carolinians know about their governor is that Nikki Haley hates labor unions. Something that not enough of the state’s citizens know, however, is that Haley is full of crap on that topic.
And full of corporate donations, too, it seems, since she’s now in advertisements, paid for by Boeing, telling employees of the aircraft manufacturer not to join a union. Haley’s arguments, like practically all circulating statewide on this specific subject, are not only plutocratic, though. They’re friggin’ Marxist. And they’re built on false foundations, too.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) recently got enough support from employees at its North Charleston, South Carolina facility to call for a vote to unionize. On April 22 will about 3,000 workers get to decide.
The corporation is currently littering the area with a multi-media anti-labor campaign, though, trying to convince those workers to not unionize. And Haley, who’s long been an opponent to organized labor, has been emcee of this movement to stifle that simple and basic right.
But the message issued by Boeing and Haley is factually flawed. They claim this same union tried to stop Boeing from coming to North Charleston. They claim it tried to take away the North Charleston jobs. They claim IAM isn’t needed, and will only try to shut down this facility to send the work to a facility in Everett, Washington. And every one of those arguments is complete and utter bullsh*t.
Here’s what really happened:
- Boeing needed to expand production of its 787 liners, and narrowed a search down to three locations: one in Everett, another in Oregon, and this one in North Charleston. Eventually the South Carolina facility was chosen.
- Shortly after that decision, the CEO of Boeing told media that he purposefully eliminated Everett from consideration because the workers at that facility had gone on strike a few years ago.
- That statement indicated violation of federal law (Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act), which makes such retaliation illegal.
- The IAM union in Everett (Local 751) filed complaint with the National Labor Relations Board about that violation.
- In that complaint, IAM 751 specifically stated it would not accept any compensation that would affect employment at the facility in North Charleston.
- Boeing tried to twist it, though. Teaming up with Haley, in 2011 the company tried to claim that the Everett workers wanted to shut down the North Charleston facility.
- IAM 751 responded to that false claim with a very succinct and quite-corrective statement: “(I)f Boeing tries to shut down its North Charleston operations, my union will stand with the employees of South Carolina to stop it. Because the fact is, the only one in the room suggesting that the North Charleston plant will close is Boeing itself – not the NLRB and certainly not my union.”
- The two eventually settled out of court for Boeing’s admitted violation of the law.
But Haley is now promoting the same bullsh*t that Boeing issued a few years ago. IAM is only trying to unionize as revenge, she says. And both Haley and Boeing claim that the company’s South Carolina workers already have more than enough.
That’s the second venue of bullsh*t, though. According to Glass Door, an assembler in Everett’s facility makes $21.16 per hour. The same position at the North Charleston facility gets only $15.45, though. There is a difference in the prices and costs of these communities, of course; according to CNN Money, the cost of living in Everett is 6.56 percent higher than North Charleston’s. But that doesn’t justify paying South Carolina workers 26 percent less for the same work.
What’s even worse – and even more indicative of the direction Haley is trying to steer her state – is that these attempts to stifle labor representation mimic the practice of particular economic theories of Karl Marx. (Yeah, that Karl Marx. And please note – this is referring to a specific practice of Marxian Economics, not Marxist sociopoliticism.)
In a nutshell, and in example of aiding a third-world country without access to natural resources, Marxian Economics called for: promoting trade policies that would increase imports of raw materials to a state that lacks in them; eliminating taxes and government oversight on companies that trade those materials; and restricting labor rights and subsequent worker income growth to encourage those companies to make final products with those materials in a state. With these practices, Marx theorized, a state can have a bustling economy that remains in the hands of those companies and a government’s leaders. The workers won’t get much in pay, but will benefit from access to the products they manufacture, Marx theorized in this example.
You can see that specific example practiced today in parts of Asia, too. Consider cellular telephones; they’re made in countries that would ordinarily lack the capital and resources to make them, let alone use them. The laborers are poorly paid and have little in labor rights – but the market penetration of cell phones in those countries is nearly 100 percent (much higher, and achieved much faster, than the U.S.). Do those workers live ideal lives? Hell, no – but they get the newest and spiffiest smartphones, while the corporations and some select government folks get to roll in dough.
Now compare that Marxian practice to this current Haley-Boeing circumstance. Based on the deal it cut with the Republican-led state government, the company is free of any state income tax for many years. It doesn’t pay property taxes. It doesn’t even have to match its workers’ pay deductions for unemployment. (The city of North Charleston reduced its corporate taxes for Boeing, too.) And Haley has been actively arguing against the labor union that could improve the pay and benefits for Boeing’s South Carolina employees, who are making a lot less than their counterparts at other Boeing facilities.
So what does that make Haley? A Marx-loving, campaign donor-kissing, in-bed-with-Boeing liar.
As for you Boeing employees, be sure you look at the facts. If you have doubts, feel free to ask questions – but make sure you ask the right people. And no matter what, don’t listen to a damn thing that Nikki Haley is saying.
Author Rob Groce is a member of the National Writers Union. And if you don’t like it, you can kiss his better-benefit and higher-paid union ass.