When Gov.-elect Nikki Haley announced her cabinet pick for Labor commissioner, her words were spiteful and careless, and would encourage manufacturers to violate the law according to the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the rights of employees to belong to a union. Ms. Haley said the state’s labor agency will lead efforts to fight unions, particularly at Boeing’s new North Charleston plant.

I am a construction electrician by profession and a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) by choice. The partnership of the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association developed the greatest apprenticeship program in the world. The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee gave me the education I needed to work competently and safely.

A construction worker faces some pretty severe obstacles. On the flip side it is challenging and rewarding work. The Code of Excellence that is adopted by our members and contractors assures that we will do our job with pride, efficiency and effectiveness. So, I am all for the union.

I love the United States of America, I drive a union-made car and I check the labels on everything I buy for ‘Made in the U.S.A.’

Finally, whether your choice is union or non-union everyone deserves a total compensation benefit package that is fair and respects the value of his profession.

‘We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers’: Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Strength to Love,’ 1963.

Judith U. Sheahan

Short River Court

Mount Pleasant