Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks during a hearing with the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7, 2023
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The United Auto Employees union has filed a labor grievance against Sen. Tim Scott for saying staff needs to be fired for happening strike.
The grievance filed with the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday accuses the South Carolina Republican’s presidential campaign of interfering with staff’ rights to have interaction in union activity under federal law. The appropriate to strike is protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.
“Tim Scott threatened employees with opposed consequences in the event that they engage in protected, concerted activity by publicly responding to an issue about striking staff as follows: ‘You strike, you are fired,'” UAW President Shawn Fain said within the grievance. CNBC has not independently obtained the document, but Fain confirmed its authenticity to NBC News.
When asked Monday how he would cope with labor talks, Scott told voters at an event in Fort Dodge, Iowa, that he would emulate former President Ronald Reagan, who fired hundreds of striking air traffic controllers in 1981.
“Ronald Reagan gave us an awesome example when federal employees decided they were going to strike,” the South Carolina senator said.
“He said, ‘You strike, you are fired.’ Easy concept to me. To the extent that we will use that after again, absolutely,” Scott said.
The senator doubled down on his attack against the UAW in a press release to CNBC on Friday. Scott said the union was attempting to intimidate him.
“The UAW is one of the crucial corrupt and scandal-plagued unions in America,” Scott said. “They’re showing their true colours once more and autoworkers and taxpayers shall be left holding the bag together. They wish to threaten me and shut me up.”
United Auto Employees President Shawn Fain looks on as he greets staff (not pictured) on the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant to mark the start of contract negotiations in Wayne, Michigan, on July 12, 2023.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
When asked Wednesday to elaborate on his comments about firing striking staff, the senator said he opposed the UAW’s demand for a 32-hour work week at 40 hours of pay.
“The reality is that all of us pay the upper price, but the last word payer has been recently the American taxpayers,” Scott said during an event in Windham, Recent Hampshire. “And so that is what I said but they only clipped it for his or her profit.”
CNBC has reached out to the UAW for comment. The Intercept first reported that the union had filed the grievance.
Nearly 13,000 UAW members are on strike for the seventh day at key plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Fain said the union will expand the strike Friday to 38 General Motors and Stellantis locations but pass over additional Ford facilities.
Scott’s home state of South Carolina has a powerful anti-union popularity. The Palmetto State is a hub for foreign automobile manufacturers who’re benefiting from the South’s lower labor costs in comparison with heavily unionized Midwestern states, the normal heart of American auto manufacturing.
United Auto Employees members and supporters rally on the Stellantis North America headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, on Sept. 20, 2023.
Bill Pugliano | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Nikki Haley, who can be running for the Republican presidential nomination, proclaimed she was a “union buster” while governor of South Carolina. Haley pointed to her record of recruiting foreign automobile manufacturers similar to Mercedes Benz and Volvo to the Palmetto State.
“I didn’t want to usher in firms that were unionized just because I didn’t wish to have that change the environment in our state,” Haley said during an interview with Fox News.
The anti-union comments made by Scott and Haley come ahead of the second Republican presidential debate next week. Former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, is skipping the controversy to consult with union members in Detroit.
Trump is courting a UAW endorsement while at the identical time bashing the union’s leadership. The previous president has said that President Joe Biden’s push to transition to electric vehicles threatens the roles of autoworkers within the U.S.
“The autoworkers are being sold down the river by their leadership, and their leadership should endorse Trump,” the previous president told NBC News in an interview that aired Sunday.