SC AFL-CIO Leader Smashes Haley Piñata
Donna Dewitt, the head of the labor union's state office, is shown on video smashing a photo of Gov. Nikki Haley.
COLUMBIA, SC -- Labor unions have long been a source of frustration, debate and arguments in the Palmetto State.
But a new video posted online of the South Carolina AFL-CIO chief Donna Dewitt smashing a piñata with Gov. Nikki Haley's face on it seems to take things to the next level.
The governor's spokesman, Rob Godfrey, shared the video on Twitter this afternoon.
Even Democrats across the state expressed disdain.
"Totally inappropriate," said Democratic strategist Tyler Jones. "There is absolutely no place for this in politics. You don't need a bat to beat Nikki Haley, you just need a brain."
Dewitt has been head of the labor union for 16 years, and the group has been battling with Haley for years over multiple issues.
Haley has repeatedly said a goal of her office was to fight labor unions in the state.
"There is no place for that in civil public discourse, and that video no more represents the people of South Carolina than union bosses represent our workers," said Rob Godfrey, spokesman for the governor.
Godfrey also referred Patch to Haley's Facebook page.
"Wow. I wonder if the unions think this kind of thing will make people take them seriously," Haley wrote in her post that links to the incident.
Russell Bannan, a coordinator at the SC AFL-CIO, said Dewitt had long withstood "countless attacks" from the governor, and that even then, her smashing Haley's likeness was obviously done in jest.
"Obviously, the piñata is a joke," Bannan said. "What isn't a joke is Gov. Haley's continuous campaign to strip away freedom of association, the right to self organization and work place democracy from the hard working families of South Carolina."
Haley's disdain towards labor unions is hardly new. South Carolina has a long history of antipathy against labor unions, resulting in the state having one of the lowest unionization rates in the United States.
In fact, the state has the second-lowest rate of unionization in the country, with just 3.4 percent of its workforce represented by a union, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only North Carolina, at 2.9 percent, has a lower rate.