Workers add infrastructure to piece of fuselage at a Boeing-operated plant in N. Charleston, South Carolina (June 10, 2008). Mitt Romney will will be in SC on Monday, Sept 12, 2011, to tour Boeing. After the tour, he will deliver a labor policy speech. (photo Brad Nettles/AP)
Before taking his place onstage at the next presidential debate (Monday, Sept 12th in Tampa, FL), Mitt Romney will first pay a visit that same day to the beautiful state of South Carolina to tour Boeing. Boeing is being sued by the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) for building a plant in SC in what they view as retaliation for union strikes against the Boeing plant in Washington state.
While there, Governor Romney will also deliver a policy speech on unions which will include a proposed executive order giving workers a secret ballot option and opt-out from membership in a union. He spoke of this executive order earlier in the week at Senator Jim DeMint’s Palmetto Freedom Forum in Columbia, SC. To listen to Romney’s comments on unions, including right-to-work legislation, click here (2nd video @7:49).
COLUMBIA — White House hopeful Mitt Romney will wade into the union fight over the Boeing Company’s decision to locate in right-to-work South Carolina when he delivers a policy speech on labor after he tours the North Charleston plant Monday.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, will tour the facility in advance of the presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., later that day. Romney said at a GOP presidential forum in Columbia on Labor Day that union is not a bad word in itself, but the powerful labor organizations need to be kept in check.
The lawsuit that the National Labor Relations Board brought against Boeing for locating in South Carolina, considered an anti-union state by some, is the best example of why Romney wants to reverse the labor policies put forward by President Barack Obama, according to Romney’s campaign.
Gov. Nikki Haley said she welcomes Romney’s visit and his ideas. Haley, also a Republican, has been adamant in her fight against the labor board for its complaint against Boeing.
“We appreciate not just the talk but the action Governor Romney has taken to understand and highlight the challenges NLRB has brought upon Boeing,” Haley said in a statement Friday. “It is a strong sign to the people of our state that he is focused on our jobs.”
Highlights from Romney’s labor policy speech:
• Romney’s labor policy will focus on free enterprise, free choice and free speech.
• Labor laws must be carried out even-handedly to provide businesses with the certainty they need to grow and thrive.
• The law must be clear: Any company is free to invest anywhere it wants.
• Workers have a right to vote on whether to unionize by secret ballot. That is a position that South Carolinians overwhelmingly support. In November, 86 percent of state voters approved a constitutional amendment that requires union elections to be conducted by secret ballot.
• Romney opposes so-called snap elections, or ambush elections, for votes on whether a company should unionize. He wants to build in protections that will ensure employers have time to protect their legal rights and talk to workers about the downsides of unions.
• Unions should raise cash for political contributions the same way any other business or supporter would, by asking for donations, not using paycheck dues to fund donations.
Governor Romney endorsed Haley when she sought South Carolina’s gubernatorial seat last fall.
► Jayde Wyatt