Message from Donna Dewitt President, South Carolina AFL-CIO
May 23, 2012
First of all, let me thank all of the affiliates as well as our allies for the strong support they have shown me since SC Governor Nikki Haley posted a video of me whacking a piñata at a reception honoring me in my upcoming retirement. The piñata could have had a number of pictures that tell the trials the labor movement has endured in SC. The most recent is the relentless attacks against unions. Therefore the piñata had a picture of the Governor with comments she has made regarding unions. The piñata was made by a friend and it was very sturdily built. It was more difficult to open than the foreign made, purchased ones. Inside were favors and treats, as in any piñata enjoyed at such events. . Many of my friends took pictures throughout the day at the 16th Annual Spring retreat of the SC Progressive Network, followed by a retirement reception in my honor. I don't deny them this right.
I was enjoying the time with my friends and there was no ill intent in my actions It was a celebration for me.
Now the Governor and others are using this video as an opportunity to raise money and discourage union membership.
I make no apologies because there was no hostility in my actions. While this is portrayed negatively for unions, I ask each of you to stay union strong and continue to represent those who know that unions were not blessed with the right to organize, but fought long and hard to earn that right. As our good friend, Representative Gilda Cobb- Hunter tells us "Do not let anyone else define who you are. " I am union. I am proud. I love working for those who don't have a voice. I am privileged to be elected by members who may not always agree with me but respect my loyalties to working people. You can take a look at our Governor's website and see who she represents, the latest being a call center from India. Now we don't have to send companies overseas. We can bring them to the third world of SC. Remember we own government and it should work for everyone.
Join me in making our unions strong and vocal for the working people of America. I covet your thoughts and prayers.
In Love & Solidarity,
South Carolina AFL-CIO