Jim DeMint Group: Unionization Hurts SC Workers

PALMETTO POLICY FORUM ISSUES STUDY ON UNION WAGES Remember U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s South Carolina-based think tank? Yeah … neither do we. The Palmetto Policy Forum – which debuted with a splash last February – has been pretty quiet in the intervening months, with sources telling FITS the operation has…


Remember U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s South Carolina-based think tank? Yeah … neither do we.

The Palmetto Policy Forum – which debuted with a splash last February – has been pretty quiet in the intervening months, with sources telling FITS the operation has been forced to scale back due to fiscal constraints.

Anyway … the group did manage to fire off a quick report this week on the status of unionized government employees in the Palmetto State. According to the report (.pdf HERE), unionized public sector employees in South Carolina earn four percent less than their non-unionized counterparts.

Nationally, unionized government employees make seven percent more than non-unionized government employees.

That’s quite a spread … and according to the report’s authors it broadens with academic attainment.

“Unionized government workers in South Carolina are actually being penalized for paying union dues,” the report concludes.

Hmmmm …

“Public workers operating under a union-negotiated contract in South Carolina are hit twice by the unions claiming to represent them: First by paying to join the union, then again with overall lower compensation,” the report argues. “So if the unions are unable to back up their claims of better pay and benefits, this begs the question: What exactly are South Carolina’s public sector unions doing with their members’ dues?”

Roughly 11.3 percent of the nation’s workforce (14.5 million workers) was unionized in 2013 – identical to 2012 but down from 2011?s total of 11.8 percent. In the public sector – which has helped keep organized labor alive in recent years – unionization stood at 35.3 percent last year, down modestly from 35.9 percent in 2012.

South Carolina’s unionization rate was just 3.7 percent. That’s third-lowest nationally, although that hasn’t stopped S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley from bashing labor … and vice versa.

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Joe Dilson May 14, 2014 at 10:32 am

Blah blah blah…ok turkey neck …not relevant anymore. why income levels are down idiot.

Mack Daddy May 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

It’s funny that nothing works in South Carolina.

southmauldin May 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Guess he took the Sarah Palin route. Why serve (?) my state when I can quit, line my pockets with the unlimited money of ideologues and smugly tell everyone else how they should live their lives?

nitrat May 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm

And, be FOR Romneycare and saying it should be taken national until Obama does it.

1689 and Counting May 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

Would you kindly direct that scalawag to get his ass back to DC and the Hurtage Foundation? Thank you.

3.7% is the SC number, DeMinted. Nothing like pandering to the ill-learned natives and stubborn Tea Baggers.

God didn’t say rain, Jim, when he called your name. He said brain, dammit.

aikencounty May 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm

scalawag, haven’t heard that in quite a while.
It fits.

Manray May 14, 2014 at 10:55 am

Of course DeMint bashed organized labor, he collects $1.0 million per annum paycheck from Heritage. Look at Heritage’s Board: difficult to find a bigger collection of fat cats.

Just another guy May 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

I don’t really care about Demint anymore. Do you know why he took the job he did? It is because he now makes 1.2 million per year. Money talks and he walked right out of the Senate for it.

snickering May 14, 2014 at 11:38 am

Well DeMint left the Senate to write his unread book. He did his book tour on Heritages dime. DeMint believes his own press. He’d get more attention if he stacked his books and burned them. He certainly has the time.

nitrat May 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Same reason Carroll Campbell went to work as a lobbyist for the insurance lobby when it became clear, the US was not interested in him running for president.

CorruptionInColumbia May 14, 2014 at 11:11 am

Is he telling the audience how big his dick is?

ROcky May 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Or how big of a dick he is?

CorruptionInColumbia May 14, 2014 at 4:28 pm

That too!

snickering May 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm

How big is his dick? Well when he wants protected sex he has to use a vacuum cleaner bag.

GrandTango May 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

Great man. And he is right. He is Conservative..and will be hated on liberal sites like FITS…

Santorum May 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Face it, sailor…your type of Conserative will never be president.

Gregory Geddings May 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Mr. DeMint doesn’t need to worry about Unions causing trouble for the powers that be. That’s because these unions are, in many cases, corrupt to the core.

In the late 90’s I drove a gasoline tanker truck for the Hess Oil Company. I worked at their North Charleston, South Carolina terminal. We drove as many as 16 hours non stop with no breaks allowed and, according to the law at the time, the company was only required to give us an 8 hour break in between shifts. Most of the time they would give us around 10 hours but if you got on their shit list they would harass you with the 8 hour break.

We voted the Teamsters union in because they promised to end the constant and myriad company abuses of its drivers. That turned out to be a joke. After both of the shop stewards quit with no explanation during contract negotiations, I became one of the replacement stewards. In my one and only meeting with company officials, lawyers, and Teamsters, it became apparent what was going on when the president of the Teamsters union (SC), Leno Acanfora, started the day’s meeting off by suggesting that company officials lower the salary of new drivers by two dollars per hour. This was a sweetheart deal and the drivers were going to be tossed over the cliff.

One of our complaints was that the trucks were not air conditioned. Keep in mind that this was the deep south and we were hauling dangerous materials. The drivers would stay cool by carrying large quantities of ice water during their shift. The manager called me in one morning before my shift and wanted to know why the computer on my truck showed that I stopped frequently. I tried to explain to him that the truck cabs were hot and I needed lots of water to keep from passing out. When you drink so much liquid it stands to reason that you have to stop and pee. He got this really quizzical look on his face and said “Can’t you pee before you come to work?” He was not only an idiot but a sociopath as well.

Nothing was gained, all of our demands were rejected, and, with the collusion of the union, the exhausted drivers continued to travel all around our state carrying around 9,000 gallons of gas, diesel or #6 oil. We were an ever-present danger to other drivers on the road but neither the company, the Teamsters, nor the government seemed to give a damn. If a driver ran off the road or had an accident Hess would go round-and-round in circles refusing to accept responsibility. It was always the driver’s fault.

I need to also mention that, because of a loophole in the law, we were exempt from overtime pay. The Teamsters couldn’t even fix that gaping injustice.

And people wonder why unions don’t seem to take hold in the south.

GrandTango May 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm

If you are worthy of your job, the company will work w/ you. I’ve presented a list of demands before, and the management met every one, because I was an asset to them.
Unions are to protect the worthless, lazy and corrupt.

Smirks May 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

If you are worthy of your job, the company will work w/ you.

Bravo, T. No employer EVER abuses their employees and treats them like dirt! Great reasoning there.

What were your demands? That you wanted more time off? So they let you go?

euwe max May 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Can you imagine Damned Tango working somewhere? He’d get it in his head they were “lieberaltarians” and start trying to take down the head of the company through rumors and innuendo, scream and cuss at the “dick suckers” in the break room, and get fired.

Not to mention coming in drunk every damned day.

Native Ink May 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

That’s not been my experience at all. I’ve seen people go way above and beyond the call of duty and then be pushed out when they asked for better pay or working conditions. Maybe a great worker will get a dollar or two more an hour, but when you are starting from a low threshold, that doesn’t mean much.

This is most often true in manual labor jobs. It’s almost always easier to go find a fresh back than to take care of the “old backs” that have served you for years.

euwe max May 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm

If you are worthy of your job, the company will work w/ you.


CNSYD May 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

In 1963 I was making $2.93 per hour as a dock worker at a unionized (Teamsters) truck line. Dock workers down the street at non unionized truck lines were getting minimum wage, $1.25 per hour. Yep Teamsters really hurt me.

Native Ink May 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

That does sound sucky. My experience with unions was better, but I’m sorry yours wasn’t.

Rocky May 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Unionization rate is third lowest in the country as are wages and benifits. DeMint should be so proud.

GrandTango May 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I.keep hearing ignorant motherf*#k#r$, like you, regurgitating stats to attack SC….yet you claim you are eating fat and collecting abig paycheck, here…

On top of that, we are adding population… while union liberal states are losing it…

Are you a f#*k!ng liar?…or just stupid?…

Rocky May 14, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me. I am rubber you are glue – – – – – Dumba$$

nitrat May 14, 2014 at 2:57 pm

‘specially when they are coming from someone who is obviously drunk.

Rocky May 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Yeah, GT been slapped down – an’ he dun even know it.

truthmonger May 15, 2014 at 2:44 am

Actually, F#ckface, you are wrong. We are losing workforce, and now jobs. Industrial states ARE losing jobs due to corporate moves to increase profits (and management bonuses) at the expense of the national economy.

As a public sector worker prohibited by law from being represented (and I would happily pay dues if I was allowed to have a union to represent me), I see how abusive the system has become. Under Haley’s watch, police retirement was butchered. On top of that, disability for injured and crippled officers was reduced by 17% as of January 1. Oh, and officers forced to take disability due to on the job injuries generally lose their medical benefits. Why? Because they are not allowed to argue for their own interests. Benefits get cut so rich c*cksuckers can have more corporate and business welfare passed out. Haley can whine about her hubby’s benefits and her own, but SCREW the public safety officers.

GrandTango May 15, 2014 at 7:25 am

Shut the F*#k up (and read the US Census) you whiney little ba$*@*d….

You’re a Public sector worker: YOU are the problem. You produce NOTHING, but FEED off of us who do produce…You have no right, and no business, saying anything. Do what the F*#k the legislature in SC tells you…

All you, Pootlian, FITS and Obama do, is make it harder for me to feed my family, while you demand more be wasted, so you can ride the gravy train…

PS: If Haley is SCREWING you, I’ll be like a democrat and vote SEVERAL times for her…I thank her for that. I’d LOVE for you to have to live in a world like the rest of us, where we actually EARN a living, w/o gov’t handouts and privileges…

truthmonger May 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Tell us that the next time you need help. You know, like when your insurance company requires a police report… or when your wife calls us because you are beating her again. Or maybe you need an escort to the bank to deposit your money. I produce a livable society that allows you to earn living and own nice things in relative safety. Not perfect, but then again output is limited by budget.

Services are in fact a product. Without police, much of the insurance industry would collapse. Roads would be unsafe, since there would be no-one stopping drunk and reckless drivers. Our economy DEPENDS on rule of law. That cannot exist without people in place to enforce it.

truthmonger May 15, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Oh, and GT, your candy ass couldn’t HANDLE my job.

Native Ink May 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I’ve had union jobs and non-union jobs. If I were still a blue collar worker, I’d for damn sure want to be in a union.

CorruptionInColumbia May 14, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I never had a union job, but I’ve worked at places where I’d damn sure vote for it if we were given the option. I believe what Gregory Geddings said. I have heard similar stores about CWA from former telephone employees and how they totally failed to represent the employees on critical issues.

The rampant greed in corporate America these days is as bad or worse than it was in the early 1900’s and is what creates a need for unions that will honestly represent their members. Unfortunately, corrupt and greedy assholes find their way into the unions sometimes, and take bribes from the corporation or company to go against the members’ best interests.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt May 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Fair point. I’m a union member and strongly support them, especially in today’s corporate culture as you mentioned.

However, I will be the first to stand up and curse those unions who allow and tolerate corrupt and crooked practices to destroy and besmirch our cause.

aikencounty May 14, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Thats two of use on this blog.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Gregory Geddings May 15, 2014 at 7:46 am

I feel the same way. I always supported the union cause but, prior, to this incident, I had never belonged to one. It was a big disappointment to realize that the so-called worker’s representatives were as damned crooked and heartless as the company was.

euwe max May 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm

They are very practical, but they do a few things very well – keep your wages competitive, keep you from being fired for stupid shit like personality clashes and vendettas, make sure you don’t fucked out of your break time, and get paid for overtime.

…and during a union meeting when I asked a question that would have produced a painful answer, I was told to shut up and sit down… I did… but I’m still pro-union.

nitrat May 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Are there any unions in SC other than the privatized public school bus drivers who went to work for the privatized public school bus companies in Charleston and Beaufort counties that replaced public public school bus drivers and the Charleston longshoremen?

nitrat May 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Really, how does he get away with a bunch of numbers that don’t even identify the “unionized government workers” in SC that he’s talking about?
State employees cannot by law unionize…who is he talking about?
Or, is this member of The Family/The Fellowship/C Street/National Prayer Breakfast Christianist cult lying again?

aikencounty May 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm

That’s my question,also.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt May 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I wish I could photo shop the pic in this story to show Demint cradling two giant dicks.

CorruptionInColumbia May 15, 2014 at 6:48 am

That would be hilarious! Maybe Lindsey has a couple he can loan him.

sparklecity May 16, 2014 at 12:03 am

Now here’s a good photoshop caption:

Demint: “No shit, Reagan’s balls were this BIG”!!!!

Yelsewh May 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Is unionization of workers in South Carolina really a topic of concern or is this just another boogeyman that the GOP dreamed up to get its base to the polls?

euwe max May 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

If the workers in SC were smarter than squirrels unionization would be a *big* issue… but since they’re a bunch of rabid Republicans without the sense of a bag of hair, it’s a “red meat” issue.

Yelsewh May 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Good point. We have the government that we deserve.

euwe max May 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Unions are necessary, but not perfect. With respect to corruption – why only let corporations and politics in South Carolina be corrupt?

Why not end corruption, instead of the institutions?


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