South Carolina AFL-CIO


When Perla Balli she heard the news that the T-Mobile call center where she worked in Brownsville, Texas, was about to close because T-Mobile was shipping 3,300 jobs from that location and from six other U.S. call centers overseas, she said: House and car payments, tuition for my oldest son’s college education and the expenses of caring for five children were the first things that came to my mind. No American worker should have to worry that their job will be taken from them unceremoniously and given to someone else. Read more >>>

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement today proclaiming the federation's support for an executive order issued by President Obama protecting federal employees and employees of federal contractors against discrimination based on gender identity. Trumka said: Working people believe in equality and fairness. That’s why we are happy to stand with President Obama in supporting protections for workers who are discriminated against on the basis of gender identity. Read more >>>

The SC AFL-CIO were among those participating in the Annual Spring Meeting of the SC Progressive Network, which deals with issues affecting working families around the state. The event was held in a local union hall near Columbia. Around 80 activists from across the state spent a recent Saturday debating and refining strategies for the rest of the year. Continuing the Network's strategic focus on the state's refusal to accept Medicaid funding, and the generally sad state of democracy in South Carolina, they are preparing tools that can be used to organize efforts in local areas. They can now map the location of registered, inactive and unregistered voters by neighborhood who have been denied Medicaid coverage. Read more >>>

More than 40 protesters stood on busy roads in Charleston (Thursday 5/15/14) calling for a $15 minimum wage.  A 6am demonstration took place in front of a Burger King, and one later that morning was conducted in front of a McDonalds(check out the SC AFL-CIO on Facebook for a collection of photos!)

Delegates flocked from around South Carolina for the state's annual Democratic Convention held in Coluimbia.  It was kicked off by the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner Friday night, as well as Congressman Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry, which has become an institution over the years.   Read more >>>

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 US Senator Bernie Sanders and congressional hopeful Gloria Bromell Tinubu addressed a large crowd in Charleston, calling for fair wages for working people, and issuing a call to arms against conservative big business forces that may require a wake up from the “American Dream.” Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the longest-serving independent in congressional history. He said that the US middle class is quickly disappearing. He said workers are producing more, earning much less, and that people are getting really angry. Read more >>>

 It's not a recognized holiday for many, and you won't see it on most calendars.

But this year marks the 25th anniversary of Workers Memorial Day in the United States. It is also the 43th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the right of every worker to a safe job. This is a hats off, a Thank You, to all those workers, over the decades and throughout the centuries, who have paid the ultimate price, just trying to support their families. Workplace fatalities and injuries have declined, but that progress isn't due purely to the OSHA law.

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Here's Gov. Haley expressing her love for the labor movement, SC Auto Summit in Greenville.  View Interview

 Labor delegates came from around the state for the SC AFL-CIO's annual Legislative Conference held at the organization's conference center, endorsing candidates for congressional races as well as those running for state offices and local house districts. Approximately 40 attendees also heard from a day-full of speakers concerning political issues.

Congressman James Clyburn addressed the group on the issue of raising the minimum wage, saying that the US was built on the backs of those who were willing to work hard. A federal bill would raise the minimum to $10.10 per hour.

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 Members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) from Columbia SC Local 807 protested Thursday(April 24th) at a Staples store against what they called a sweetheart deal between the U.S. Postal Service and a retailer that is privatizing postal retail services and replacing postal jobs with lower-wage jobs. They were joined by members of the Columbia Central Labor Council and representatives of the SC AFL-CIO. Read more >>>

Anti-ALEC Letter Draws Comparison Between Ideals of Different Groups

In April The State Newspaper published a letter focusing on SC AFL-CIO President Erin McKee's statements at a January Statehouse rally, where she drew attention to the dangers of ALEC.   The letter received many comments on the paper's website as well as on Facebook.

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 "Political subdivision's authority to set minimum wage or other benefits": Derailed! This bill would have amended a 2002 law (brought to SC by ALEC)  that prevents any local government from setting a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum. The amendment would have prohibited ANY required employee benefits, like sick leave. The bill, which passed the House last year, was heard in the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee March 26. It was voted out, but Sen. John Scott (D-Richland) attached a minority report on the bill and placed an objection that moves it to the bottom of the Senate's calendar. Scott said he was "surprised at the amount of heat he took" for stopping the bill. Below is an op ed piece written by Brett Bursey with the SC AFL-CIO:

Can being too business-friendly make you sick?

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 Immediately after SC Governor Nikki Haley appeared at an automotive industry conference in Greenville and attacked unions, saying that new companies were not welcome in South Carolina if they plan to bring a union with them, SC AFL-CIO President issued a letter to the editors of news publications around the state. Haley said, “Unions are trying to come to South Carolina...My wearing heels is not a fashion statement...we're kicking them everyday and we'll continue to kick them.” Her comments came days after UAW failed to organize at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

"She is lying when she says there are no unions in South Carolina and she knows she is lying," McKee said.

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Shedding Light on the Stars

On the set for Russell Crowe’s latest movie, “Noah,” Mario Pignard Jr. had the challenging task to create the impression of daylight in the middle of the night for an area larger than three football fields on Long Island. A highly specialized motion picture lighting technician, his skills were honed by other large projects, such as “The Dark Knight Rises,” starring Christian Bale, when he used nine to 12 generators to light lower Manhattan’s bridges and business district. Read the full article>>>

 SC AFL-CIO President Erin McKee participated in a panel discussion held by the Democratic Women's Council, which conducted a day of events at the State House encouraging more women to run for political office. McKee discussed the AFL-CIO's support of candidates, “who support unions and aren't afraid to say so, but also those people who are going to be strong, viable candidates.” She talked about Governor Nikki Haley's attack on unions and how during a conference concerning the automotive industry in Greenville, Haley stated that there were no unions in the state... Read more >>>

The South Carolina AFL-CIO is the state federation of labor representing more than 130 unions throughout the state.

The mission of the South Carolina AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation.

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 Vice President Joe Biden promoted needed improvements at the Port of Charleston from its Columbus St. Terminal on the early afternoon of Monday, Sept. 16.

About 40 members of local labor unions, including the International Longshoremen’s Association that serves the port, attended the event by direct invitation from the White House, and made up the largest collective group amongst the 240 attendees.

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A South Carolina labor group said it will air its objections today to a local business seminar about “stifling the use of social media” by unions trying to organize workers. Read more >>>

Several union leaders spoke out against a Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce event at a news conference today in downtown Charleston. Read more >>>

Erin McKee was elected president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO at its 57th annual convention in Georgetown on September 6.

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