SHRUBLOGBelaboring Union Rights in South Carolina
George Shrub went to Columbia, South Carolina, in 2001 to stop the rampant labor agitation by supporters of the “Charleston” “5.” Herewith his remarks, declassified:
What shall we do with the longshore pickets
Can’t let em off with trespass tickets, they
Might march again and that’s not cricket
Earlye-in the mornin’Haul them off their ships and barges
Haul them up with a snorkel, sergeant
Haul them up on criminal charges
Earlye-in the mornin’
It’s great to be here, and, of course, everywhere. I’m pleased to be able to take over this rally and share my point of view with you, so that you won’t need your own. As for you being here, that’s all right. I may not agree with your views, but I will defend your death if you say them. But it’s a great honor for you to have me here today, since I know a great many things about labor unions. Some of them are true, and it’s a great pleasure to be here and share some of the others with you.
I know you’re all upset because the police planned a riot before you could get around to it. And you’re upset because the Attorney General of this great state, Mr. Charlie, Charlie Condon, thought of it. Well, I’m here to tell you that Charlie has your best interests at heart, that he would never use innocent, law abiding, peacefully picketing longshoremen as a stepping stone to higher office. Now, it’s not true, but I am here to tell you that.
Here’s the problem: unions are way out of control in South Carolina. They want to dominate the state. They already control 3.8% of the workers here. People here have been struggling against unions since the civil war – sorry, the War of Northern Aggression. That wasn’t about slavery, that was an anti-union struggle. So that’s a proud heritage, if a somewhat hateful one.
And the problems we have nationally are traceable to the unions: the economic downturn is due to their insatiable demands for such luxuries as post-nursery education, post-breakfast meals, and multi-walled dwellings.
The AFL-CIO says that unionization is the best anti-poverty program ever created. Maybe, but it’s primarily a form of class warfare. In the old days, we had class struggle between workers and management. That’s over, according to law. It’s also technically impossible, since there are today no more workers. We’re all associates now.
This is a right to work state. Not literally; it means the right of more workers to work more, for less. I think we have a good model here for working relations between industry and the community, except of course for the participation of labor. Labor needs to butt out of business, because the business of America is, well, none of your business.
How do you think America got to be a great nation? Through workers’ struggles? I don’t think so. No, it was through patient, methodical work, all of us working together to make things better for all the rich. But instead of working within the system, the Campaign for Workers’ Riots in South Carolina has organized all these groups, community groups (which is unnecessary – we have the Chamber of Commerce to represent the community), and religious groups. But religious groups working with unions, that is simply a failure to excommunicate.
But the unions have another agenda. They don’t want free movement of capital, but they do want free movement of unions. You know what that’ll lead to: a union movement! Charlie has useful advice for union organizers: 3 words – location, location, location. Or as he puts it, jail, jail and more jail. But Charlie’s a good man, a kind man. Well, he’s kind of a good man. Anyway, he’s a good man of his kind.
But you can’t always be good; sometimes you have to be tough. You have to be tough on crime, but in a compassionate way. You have to have compassionate cops. Ones that don’t discriminate. It’s true that one of the cops ran out of formation and clubbed Ken Riley on the head. Well, he had to – Riley wouldn’t put his head near the formation. But we’re working on this problem. We’ve already tightened up the list of reasons why a cop can stop someone on suspicion. There are only three now: Unusual Nervousness While Black, Changing Direction While Black, and the most disturbing of all erratic behaviors, Picketing While Black.
And now they’re complaining that if these picketers are convicted based on being identified through photos, by just having been there, that the next time there’s a conflict, workers will be reluctant to picket. You know, I hadn’t thought of that. You could build a whole strategy around that. I must talk to my friends at the Federal Bureau of Intimidation about that.
Some say the Attorney General is just trying to make a name for himself. For instance, South Carolina AFL-CIO President Donna Dewitt says that. A girl president, that’s great. Now I didn’t come here to slight the women – of course I will do that – but what’s more important is the slight chance that the unions will gain an adherent or two.
Charlie has urged the passage of a bill to ensure that the right-to-work foundation of our pro-business climate is never again compromised by union politics. This is the international standard: free trade. And what is the business climate? Global warming, of course. NAFTA has proven to be very good for both Mexico and the US – especially for the working people, insofar as it frees them from work. In fact, there’s a new statistic out on the supporters of free trade. It turns out there’s one born every minute.
Thank you and God bless you each and every one. But separately, not together.