South Carolina remains a historically anti-union state. Labor groups in the state have been working to ease the anti-union sentiment but struggle due to unfriendly politicians.
South Carolina AFL-CIO Field Director Jennifer Tague joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss her role as field director, how the organization is working to overcome the anti-union sentiment and more.
Working as an AFL-CIO Field Director
Tague explained her job as an AFL-CIO Field Director, saying she travels the state meeting with Local Unions on recruiting new members, talking to individuals who would like to organize and more. She summed up her position as educating people and groups on the importance of unions.
She has a long history of being an advocate for various social movements and the labor movement. The politics and attitudes of many in her state make it difficult for progressive opinions to flourish.
Overcoming anti-union sentiment
Tague said the best way to improve anti-union sentiment is pass the PRO Act. Since South Carolina is a so-called “Right to Work” state, the PRO Act will fundamentally change labor law in South Carolina.
While the labor movement has some support amongst members of the House, both Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) remain firm against the legislation in the Senate. However, the labor movement enjoys pockets of support in the state government.
The South Carolina AFL-CIO is also working on initiatives to improve lives through the state government. One initiative is to establish a benchmark livable wage. The state currently follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and the AFL-CIO is seeking methods to raise this amount.