United Auto Workers Files Complaint Against Senator Scott After He Calls for Striking Union Members To Be Fired

The United Auto Workers is alleging in a new complaint that Scott violated the rights of his employees — who are not in a union — by saying he would fire striking employees.

AP/Meg Kinnard
Senator Scott during a town hall, April 30, 2023, at Charleston. AP/Meg Kinnard

After Senator Scott said that his solution to the United Auto Workers strike would be to fire the striking employees, the union filed a complaint alleging that his comments were a violation of the rights of his campaign’s employees. Mr. Scott tells the Sun the union is trying to “threaten” him.

When asked by a voter about how he would respond to the UAW strike, Mr. Scott said, “Ronald Reagan gave us a great example when federal employees decided they were going to strike. He said, ‘You strike, you’re fired,’” adding that it’s a “simple concept to me.”

Now, the UAW is bringing a charge against Mr. Scott in his capacity as a representative for his campaign, Tim Scott for America, which employs 25 people, according to the complaint. The union is alleging that the senator violated the National Labor Relations Act.

“Within the past six months, the employer has interfered with, restrained, or coerced employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act,” the complaint reads.

Working Americans “continue to witness how a weak president leads to all sorts of chaos at home and abroad,” Mr. Scott told the Sun. “The UAW is one of the most corrupt and scandal-plagued unions in America. They are showing their true colors once again and autoworkers and taxpayers will be left holding the bag together. They want to threaten me and shut me up.”

The complaint against Mr. Scott, first reported by the Intercept, continues, “On Monday September 18, 2023 Tim Scott threatened employees with adverse consequences if they engage in protected, concerted activity by publicly responding to a question about striking workers as follows: ‘You strike, you’re fired.’”

Section 7 of the NLRA guarantees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”

Striking is among the activities protected by Section 7 of the NLRA. Section 8 of the act goes on to make the violation of these rights defined in Section 7 an unfair labor practice.

Section 8 reads that an employer may not “interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7.”

The UAW president, Shawn Fain, in a statement on Thursday, said that Mr. Scott’s comments signaled that it is “time for more stringent laws to protect workers rights.”

“Just another example of how the employer class abuses the working class in America, employers willfully violate labor law with little to no repercussions,” Mr. Fain said.

While the National Labor Relations Board has not been rigorous in its enforcement of the NLRA under some administrations, President Biden’s NLRB has repeatedly signaled that it intends to enforce the act. Although the Scott campaign’s employees are not unionized, the rights of employees are not contingent on unionization.

If the board does rule against Mr. Scott, he could be ordered to cease and desist from the behavior that resulted in the complaint. Legal counsel for the UAW did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Correction: The United Auto Workers filed a charge against Senator Scott with the National Labor Relations Board. An earlier version of this story misstated the nature of the complaint.

The New York Sun

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