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Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Tim Scott, appointed Monday by Gov. Nikki Haley as South Carolina's new senator, really does not like unions. Any Haley appointee was going to hate unions, of course—Haley elevated her standing among Republicans nationally by attacking the National Labor Relations Board—but Scott really goes the extra mile, having attempted to prevent the families of striking workers from getting food stamps, and having authored legislation to take away the NLRB's ability to penalize law-breaking employers.

Along with notables such as Louie Gohmert, Scott backed a bill intended to make it harder to get food stamps and cap federal spending on means-tested welfare programs. Under an anti-strike provision in the bill, families already on food stamps when a member went on strike would continue to receive the same level of assistance, but no family's assistance—not even assistance for children—could increase because of a strike. Workers, in other words, would face the choice between taking whatever concessions their bosses demanded and watching their families struggle financially for years to come, or fighting for decent pay and benefits at the cost of watching their families go hungry in the immediate future.

Scott also authored a bill that would have stripped the National Labor Relations Board of its ability to penalize companies that illegally move jobs in retaliation for workers exercising their legal rights. That bill was in response to the NLRB's complaint against Boeing, for moving jobs to South Carolina in retaliation for a strike in Washington state. Scott's bill wouldn't have made it legal for companies to move jobs in retaliation for workers engaging in protected activity. It just would have prevented the government from doing anything about it when companies did break the law—and because of that, make workers think twice or three times about fighting anything their bosses did.

Both bills seek to make it more difficult and more dangerous for workers to take action for better wages, benefits, or working conditions. America's labor laws are already tilted toward employers. Scott wants to turn that tilt into a vertical plane, with business at the top and workers at the bottom. And now he's a senator!


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Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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