Haley proposes right to work legislation

From left, LLR Director Catherine Templeton, Gov. Haley, and Rep. Bill Sandifer (R-Oconee County), discuss the 2012 Right to Work Act.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WACH) -- South Carolina Republican lawmakers say they want to get even tougher on unions to keep them out of the state.

Gov. Nikki Haley says the state's anti-union status is her best tool in recruiting businesses to South Carolina.

"This is not about being Republican or Democrat, it's about being pro-business," said Haley.

The proposal introduced Tuesday in the House would increase penalties for unions that break state law, and require unions to detail their financial data to the state. Unions already file most of the data with the federal Labor Department.

Last year the National Labor Relations Board filed, then dropped a lawsuit against Boeing that claimed the company broke labor laws when it opened a facility in North Charleston.

"I saw it as a warning shot," said Haley. "We are going to make sure something like this never happens again."

"I will vote against this," said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg). Hunter called the legislation an assault on the working class.

"South Carolina, thanks to Governor Haley and members of General Assembly have some of the toughest right to work laws in the state," adds Cobb-Hunter. "What else is there left to do?"

Haley also signed an executive order to ensure striking workers don't get unemployment benefits.

South Carolina law already disqualifies unemployment insurance for striking workers. But the order is designed to ensure the state's unemployment agency knows when workers are striking, and to prevent companies from having to fight a claim for benefits.