Green Wave might open '08 in Texas

John McKissick

Wade Spees

A newly filed bill would bar state government employees in South Carolina from unionizing, said Rep. Chip Limehouse, one of the sponsors.

According to House Bill 4194, the proposed legislative amendment would prohibit "collective bargaining with an employee of the State or its political subdivisions, or an association or union advocating on behalf of an employee of the State or a political subdivision of this State."

The bill was filed last week. It is unlikely to pass this legislative session.

Limehouse, a Republican from Charleston, said that while South Carolina is a "right-to-work state -- meaning individuals cannot be forced to join a union as condition of employment -- "we don't have it codified in law."

He said the purposes of the bill are to strengthen South Carolina's hand as a right-to-work state and to prevent skyrocketing liabilities tied to government retirement funds and other state employee benefit programs.

"We can all see what an unmitigated disaster collective bargaining has had on pension funding in states in the Northeast and Midwest," he said.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.