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State Chamber, SCMA, Business Community Release Statement Following Hearing On H.4555 Bill To Repeal Right To Work

February 10, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President Ted Pitts, the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance President Lewis Gossett, and President & CEO of Cox Industries, Mikee Johnson today released the following statement following the hearing for H.4555, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter’s bill to repeal South Carolina’s right to work status which would allow unions to solicit membership and interfere with many employees' ability to choose whether or not to join a union. This bill was heard before the House LCI Committee today. SC Chamber and SCMA Past Chairman Mikee Johnson testified on the business community’s behalf. 

State Chamber President Ted Pitts said, “The surest way to put hardworking South Carolinians out of work is to pass legislation like H4555 that would repeal our Right to Work laws. In the last year South Carolina has had more people working than any other time in history; we also became the least unionized state in the country last year-this is not a coincidence. As labor unions continue to target our business community, the State Chamber will continue to fight to protect our right to work laws that attract business to our borders, grow our economy, and ensure good jobs for all South Carolinians.”

South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance President Lewis Gossett said, “Organized labor's opposition to employees’ right to work is yet another reason why unions have no place in our 21st century economy. We believe that all employees should have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to join unions or not. South Carolina's manufacturers know most folks will not choose the corruption, strikes, and economic despair that unions bring. The union bosses know that to be true as well, and they will do whatever it takes to force people to join them.”

President & CEO of Cox Industries, Mikee Johnson, said, “This bill would likely raise costs for employers between 25-30% which many South Carolina businesses budgets could not handle. At a time when South Carolina is having record growth and we have more people working than any other time in history, H.4555 would stop that momentum. As a business owner who employs roughly 500 people, and as a representative of the business community, I urge House members to put a stop to this bill that would be harmful to all South Carolina workers.”

Background

  • South Carolina ranked lowest in the US for employees represented by labor unions in 2015.
  • Right to work states increased their employment rolls by 9.5% from 2003-2013. This 9.5% increase is more than double the job growth in non-right-to-work states for 2003-2013.
  • In 2013, right to work states had lower unemployment rates (6.5 percent) than states without RTW laws (7.3 percent).

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