UAW Reports Tim Scott to Labor Board

SC senator backed firing striking federal workers in 'textbook unfair labor practice'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2023 7:34 AM CDT
UAW Reports Tim Scott to Labor Board
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC., smiles while posing with guests during a campaign stop, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, in Windham, NH.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott may be vying for the White House, but he may sooner find himself in front of the National Labor Relations Board, according to the Intercept. Asked about the United Auto Workers strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis during a campaign event in Iowa on Monday, Scott had a succinct response. "You strike, you're fired," said the senator, summing up then-President Ronald Reagan's strategy of firing more than 10,000 federal air traffic controllers on strike in 1981. "Simple concept to me. To the extent that we can use that once again, absolutely," Scott continued, per NBC News. Days later, UAW leader Shawn Fain showed his pugnacity in reporting Scott for allegedly violating federal labor law.

In a complaint filed Thursday, Fain accuses Scott of violating section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which details the rights of workers to participate in labor action. "Within the past six months, the employer has interfered with, restrained, or coerced employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7," his complaint reads, per the Intercept. The outlet notes that under the NLRA, "anyone can file a charge against an employer, even if they do not work for that employer." The basis of the complaint is that Scott is an employer through his campaign, Tim Scott for America, and his comments could be seen as a direct threat against campaign staffers.

And it makes sense, according to Harvard University labor law professor Benjamin Sachs. "A statement as direct as 'if you strike you're fired' is textbook unfair labor practice language because workers can't be fired for striking," he tells the Intercept. He adds the National Labor Relations Board is likely to rule that Scott must cease such comments and inform employees of his violation. This is "just another example of how the employer class abuses the working class in America, employers willfully violate labor law with little to no repercussions," Fain said Thursday, per the Hill. "Time for more stringent laws to protect workers rights!!" (The UAW strike, currently involving about 13,000 workers at three Midwest auto plants, is expected to expand Friday.)

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