Gov. Haley slams unions, promises reform

John O'Brien Oct. 26, 2011, 12:14pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday that the saga of a Boeing plant in her state is "the most un-American thing" she's ever seen.

Speaking at the 12th annual Legal Reform Summit, Haley railed against unions and promised future legislation aimed at showing how they spend their money.

"If a company has to fear where to put its business, it has to fear where it expands its business," said Haley, who was receiving a state leadership award from the Institute for Legal Reform.

Boeing chose not to have workers in the Puget Sound area of Washington work on 787 Dreamliner airplanes because that facility, which has unionized workers, poses a higher threat of a strike. The NLRB says Boeing violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act.

In April, nine state AGs wrote to the NLRB to express their disappointment in the agency. That number grew by seven in a June brief. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is among the 16.

Haley said unions can only operate in secrecy and said she is planning legislation that would require unions to disclose their financial activity. Another bill would require any union that enters the state to disclose its financial activity from the previous three years.

She also promised future tort reform. She signed a package into law in July.

caps punitive damages that are greater than $500,000 or three times the compensatory damages awarded.

Under the law, if it is found that the defendant is motivated primarily by financial gain, or the defendant's actions rise to the level of felony charges, then the award can be increased to the greater of $2 million or four times compensatory damages.

If it is proven the defendant intended to harm the claimant, was convicted of a felony arising out of the same act or acted under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there is no cap for punitive damages.

In addition, the new law includes an appeals bond cap, revisions to the statute of repose for construction cases and requires the state attorney general to approve civil actions by circuit court

The next step on her tort reform agenda, she said, is a loser pays system. Texas passed one earlier this year,

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