Update: Judge tosses Big Labor Suit Against SC Governor in Boeing-related case
Big Labor was upset, among other statements, that Governor Haley said, ““There’s no secret I don’t like the unions. … I will do everything I can to defend the fact that we are a right-to-work state. … We are pro-business by nature. I want us to continue to be pro-business.”
But, the court rejected the International Association of Machinist’s and South Carolina AFL-CIO’s complaint.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and the director of the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR) did not violate the constitutional and federal labor law rights of a union attempting to organize workers at Boeing Co.’s plant in North Charleston, S.C., by making various anti-union statements, a federal judge in the state ruled Aug. 8 (International Ass’n of Machinists v. Haley, D.S.C., No. 2:11-cv-00153, 8/8/11).
Judge C. Weston Houck of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina dismissed the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 U.S.C. § 1983) claims brought against Haley and LLR Director Catherine Templeton by the International Association of Machinists and the South Carolina AFL-CIO. The two officials’ statements amounted to nonspecific political rhetoric that would not reasonably deter workers or union organizers of ordinary firmness from exercising their First Amendment rights to engage in pro-union speech or associational activities, the court found.