Opinion, By Catherine Templeton
Last week, while Henry McMaster was having Christmas parties at the governor’s mansion and watching the guilty pleas of his longtime political consultants and friends, South Carolina got trucked.
Last week, 1 in 11 jobs in this state were put in jeopardy.
Last week, our ability to move commerce through and around our state became an unstable and uncertain proposition.
Last week, one of the most dangerous threats to jobs, economic development, and the future of South Carolina happened without the first breath from Henry McMaster to stop it.
Last week, South Carolina took a gigantic step backwards.
Almost one year after Gov. Nikki Haley left to serve our nation under Pres. Trump, we haven’t had the chance to elect a governor — but we are already losing the momentum and resources we gained under her leadership.
Because last week, one of the nation’s most powerful and demanding unions swooped in and unionized the short haul port truck drivers at the Port of Charleston. Local and national bosses are celebrating the win, saying the move will “open the door to more organizing” and “pave the way for many others at the Charleston ports.”
This happened on Henry McMaster’s watch. He stood by as some of his biggest campaign donors and appointees agreed to give the fate of our Port to the Teamsters. Henry McMaster didn’t step up.
As a result of this complete and utter lack of leadership by our current office holder and the reckless decisions of his supporters, almost 30 percent of the commerce moved at the Port of Charleston will now be operated at the complete whim and mood of a national union.
And when they go on strike, the individual truckers who service the Port will not be able to cross the picket line. And when they don’t cross the picket line, about 80 percent of our freight won’t move.
Commerce will stop. BMWs will sit. The Inland Ports will shut down. Thousands of jobs will suffer, and South Carolina will be closed for business.
I spent 15 years fighting labor unions that drain money from workers’ paychecks every week. And when I had the pleasure to serve under Gov. Haley as your Labor Secretary, we fought against the unions to protect and expand South Carolina jobs — and we won.
On our watch, the Obama administration went back to its corner and the unions stayed in Washington. But it took a fight. It took energy. It takes leadership.
And now, that hard work and conservative drive is unraveling. Our workers and our commerce is left vulnerable because Henry McMaster didn’t bother to fight. It is terrifying to think what else may happen if he is elected for a full decade.
It’s time to look to the future, and fight for South Carolina’s workers once again.