A union leader who has represented Charleston port workers for the past 15 years will soon be president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, as well.

The AFL-CIO is a federation of labor groups that in South Carolina has been fighting anti-union legislation.

“It’s more responsibility, and I gladly accept it,” said Ken Riley, 58, who will continue serving as head of the International Longshoremen’s Association, Local 1422.

Riley is now a vice president of the state AFL-CIO, and on July 1 will step in to the president’s role when Donna Dewitt retires after 16 years in that position.

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“Certainly, I look forward to representing everyone in the labor movement,” Riley said. “We think having a pro-business environment doesn’t mean you have to beat up on workers and crush unions.”

Gov. Nikki Haley in her January State of the Union address pledged to “make the unions understand full well that they are not needed, not wanted and not welcome in the state of South Carolina.”

Read more in Friday’s editions of The Post and Courier.