Divorce Attorney in Union SC

Let's Talk!

Platform Lifts-phone-nuber 843-936-6680

If there were one universal truth it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes those changes are happy like when a new baby is born. Other times these changes involve uncertainty and loss like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce deal with a complicated custody issue or are handling a different family-related legal matter you might need help. At CHSA Law LLC we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children their marriage or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Union, SC can help whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At CHSA Law LLC we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients and with a dedicated focus stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Union. If you're looking for personal attention unbiased representation and a responsive family law attorney look no further than our law firm.

Divorce Attorney Union, SC

If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Union" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience are incredibly responsive and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Law Firm Union, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation it's time to call CHSA Law LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Union SC.

At CHSA Law LLC we know all-too-well that a one size fits all approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

 Attorney Union, SC
Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Union, SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Lawyer Union, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Union our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody alimony and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period CHSA Law LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Union

A divorce in Union means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties debts and assets determines child support and custody parameters and can establish alimony. At CHSA Law LLC many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources avoid trial and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes however two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations a trial is possible and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Union, SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

Divorce Attorney Union, SC
1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

 Law Firm Union, SC
2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make the cost of childcare and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Attorney Union, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed how much alimony should be paid and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony how long the marriage lasted and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing there are different alimony types including lump sum rehabilitative and reimbursement.

 Divorce Lawyer Union, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce the courts will order an equitable division of property meaning fair under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

Divorce Attorney Union, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Union, SC.

As mentioned above decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents both emotionally and legally. As experienced empathetic divorce lawyers we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the best interests of the child. What the judge determines to be the best interests changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of custody in South Carolina (or custody arrangements) each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at CHSA Law LLC we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

 Law Firm Union, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Union, SC.

When children are involved in divorce cases child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered like the income-earning potential of the child's parents any custody arrangements that are created and what needs the child may have.

At CHSA Law LLC we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Union for representation we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Union, SC.

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors like the income of both spouses how long they were married and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At CHSA Law LLC your family law attorney in Union, SC will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

 Attorney Union, SC
  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Union, SC.

When there are no children marital property or issues of alimony divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property real estate family businesses debts out-of-state property debts bank accounts and more.

In these nuanced situations the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like CHSA Law LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property certain types of properties that are controversial even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Divorce Lawyer Union, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it with future distribution available. Otherwise a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Union, SC

Commentary: Don’t let union Grinches steal SC’s bright future

As we enter the holidays, we remember the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Just as the Grinch didn’t like seeing people enjoy Christmas, unions don’t like seeing a low union participation state like South Carolina enjoy economic success.South Carolina has become a manufacturing powerhouse.Despite being so small geographically, the Palmetto State is home to more than 6,000 manufacturing facilities employing more than 300,000 South Carolinians and generating a $200 billion annual economic impact....

As we enter the holidays, we remember the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Just as the Grinch didn’t like seeing people enjoy Christmas, unions don’t like seeing a low union participation state like South Carolina enjoy economic success.

South Carolina has become a manufacturing powerhouse.

Despite being so small geographically, the Palmetto State is home to more than 6,000 manufacturing facilities employing more than 300,000 South Carolinians and generating a $200 billion annual economic impact. Our manufacturing community provides good-paying jobs and produces a diverse catalog of world-class products such as cars, planes, tires, household goods and advanced materials. But what makes South Carolina’s manufacturing industry truly impactful and special is its people.

South Carolina’s manufacturing workers take great pride in what they do, what they accomplish and how their work makes communities stronger. That spirit is what built our vibrant economy and helped solidify South Carolina’s global reputation as a business-friendly state with hard-working, highly skilled people — all of which have enabled us to attract significant investments and new jobs.

This success is also a testament to our state’s right-to-work law and the principles it provides for individual freedom and prosperity. In a landscape where businesses thrive, job opportunities abound and workers enjoy the ability to choose their professional path without union involvement, the question arises: Are unions needed in South Carolina? The answer is no.

So, it makes you wonder why labor unions such as the United Auto Workers are publicly targeting manufacturers and their associates in the South. The answer is simple — it’s part of a strategy to increase dues and membership for the labor union. It’s an attempt to establish relevancy within a region of the nation that recognizes that unions are not needed in the workplace.

In South Carolina, we have seen how union involvement plays out: Their promises fall flat, and their impact on a community can have distressing and long-lasting consequences.

When Mack Trucks announced in 1986 that it would build an assembly plant in Fairfield County, the news was met with tremendous excitement, promising to lift an area in need of economic growth. But when unions began infiltrating the plant just a few years later, against the wishes of community members who warned about the risks unions would bring, it cast a shadow over not only that one operation but the entire region. By 2002, the Mack Trucks plant closed based on business conditions and overcapacity, and Fairfield County lost the hundreds of good-paying jobs that went along with it. Clearly, union representation did not guarantee long-term success or change.

We cannot let history repeat itself.

South Carolina has one of the lowest union participation rates in the country, which has generated jobs and prosperity that we have come to know and enjoy. Unions put S.C. jobs, and thus families, at risk.

Our state’s manufacturing community has done well in creating economic prosperity, empowering its workforce to thrive and innovate in highly technical environments, and supporting communities and philanthropic programs through good corporate citizenship without any union involvement.

Unions were not needed for South Carolina’s manufacturing sector to achieve the success it sees today and are definitely not needed for our state’s future economic success.

Sara Hazzard is the president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Biotech Company MycoWorks Begins Production at the World's First Commercial-Scale Fine Mycelium™ Plant in Union, South Carolina

Providing the company's luxury leather alternative Reishi™UNION, S.C., Sept. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, biotechnology company MycoWorks begins production at its world-class manufacturing facility in Union, S.C. Now capable of scaling-up to meet luxury industry demand, the company is set to grow millions of square feet of its leather-alternative material produced with the company's proprietary technology, Fine Mycelium™. This patented technology produces Reishi™, a biomaterial with unparalleled hand...

Providing the company's luxury leather alternative Reishi™

UNION, S.C., Sept. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, biotechnology company MycoWorks begins production at its world-class manufacturing facility in Union, S.C. Now capable of scaling-up to meet luxury industry demand, the company is set to grow millions of square feet of its leather-alternative material produced with the company's proprietary technology, Fine Mycelium™. This patented technology produces Reishi™, a biomaterial with unparalleled hand-feel, strength and durability – on par with calfskin leather, the industry gold standard.

Continue Reading

With partners including Hermès and General Motors, MycoWorks' progression into commercial-scale manufacturing is a sign of maturation for the biomaterials industry that the company continues its leadership in materials science. Per MycoWorks' market sizing, there are serious challenges facing the $164 billion leather market and $28 billion luxury leather market such as supply chain constraints and inferior product alternatives. Since 2010, demand for luxury leather increased 251 percent, while high-end hide production declined by 22 percent due to falling beef and dairy consumption. MycoWorks, and its hallmark material Reishi™, are answering these challenges with the world's first full-scale alternative leather factory, a revolution in the production of high-quality natural materials for the luxury industry.

The opening of the 136,000 sq. ft. factory also marks the world's largest mycelium material operation, a major step for the use of mycelium– the "root structure" of mushrooms. Starting first with leather, MycoWorks' Fine Mycelium™ technology can later be expanded into other applications. The plant was made possible through a $125 million Series C funding round in 2021 from Prime Movers Lab, SK Networks, Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation Fund, DCVC Bio, Novo Holdings and several strategic customers and investors. With construction beginning in 2022, the project was delivered on-time and on-budget, running the same tray-based mycelium growth system successfully piloted in its California plant yet scaled to 100x the volume.

"As MycoWorks continues to lead in biomaterial innovation, we are thrilled to open this first-of-its-kind facility in South Carolina. This reality is thanks to our team of experienced manufacturing leaders and engineers from the consumer goods, automotive, food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries who have adapted robotic equipment and systems to handle our unique tray-based biomaterials process. In turn, they have enabled the first high-quality mycelium material product at scale, a feat which has never been accomplished until now," says Doug Hardesty, MycoWorks Chief Operating Officer. "We thank the city and citizens of Union for welcoming MycoWorks into its community."

MycoWorks' facility uses state of the art robotics, digital analytics, and AI resources to achieve high-caliber quality and supply chain systems for the company's customers in an entirely new manufacturing process. Using automated guided robots (AGRs), the company has automated 80% of its process, enabling MycoWorks' to reduce handling costs but maintain expert interactions where they are critical for quality assurance, achieving both high quality and low-cost production.

For the leather industry, MycoWorks' Union, S.C., facility is a breakthrough in supply chain management, providing full predictability, transparency, and provenance of high-quality natural materials while also reducing waste. Grown-to-spec, Fine Mycelium™ can be customized for thickness, weight and mechanical properties, allowing for an unprecedented level of control of a natural material, previously impossible via traditional agriculture.

Luxury fashion and automotive brands have eagerly awaited this opening to move collection design from prototyping and capsules to full-scale adoption. To date, Fine Mycelium™ has already been applied with great success to product categories from luxury handbags and footwear to vehicle interiors and home furnishings.

For Union, S.C.—population 30,000— MycoWorks' investment is reshoring production from an industry that primarily sources from Europe. Union has had a long history in textile manufacturing, and as the region is already home to leading automotive manufacturers, Fine Mycelium™ will allow other industries in the area and globally to closely collaborate on development. This centralization of biotechnology and manufacturing has long been a goal of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, a dedicated supporter of bringing cutting-edge science and technology to the state.

"We are thrilled to welcome MycoWorks to Union and have been eagerly awaiting the start of production," said Governor Henry McMaster. "We are already seeing the growth that this opening is bringing to the immediate and greater communities in the area, including more jobs, housing, storefronts, and overall investments. MycoWorks is a fantastic addition to our portfolio of energy-efficient plants, and we look forward to their long-term impact in South Carolina."

To learn more about employment opportunities at MycoWorks, visit https://www.mycoworks.com/careers

For media inquiries, please contact mycoworks@bpcm.com

About MycoWorksIn 2013, co-founders Philip Ross and Sophia Wang formed MycoWorks, a San Francisco-based biomaterials company dedicated to bringing new mycelium-grown materials to the world. MycoWorks' patented Fine Mycelium™ technology, an advanced manufacturing platform and breakthrough in materials science, engineers mycelium during growth to form proprietary, interlocking cellular structures for unparalleled beauty, handfeel, strength and durability. The company's flagship material- Reishi™ - is a new category of material for the world's best luxury brands. For more information, please visit mycoworks.com and madewithreishi.com.

SOURCE MycoWorks

Editorial: With Union Pier, speak now, or don’t complain later

There’s no guarantee the most recent effort to determine what should be redeveloped on Union Pier will succeed, but we can guarantee it won’t stand a chance without significant public involvement. Not only will any successful plan need to incorporate some if not much of what Charlestonians want to see there, but the public also will need to understand the tradeoffs necessary to make a redevelopment succeed.The team guiding this redevelopment effort seems to realize this as well and has created a new ...

There’s no guarantee the most recent effort to determine what should be redeveloped on Union Pier will succeed, but we can guarantee it won’t stand a chance without significant public involvement. Not only will any successful plan need to incorporate some if not much of what Charlestonians want to see there, but the public also will need to understand the tradeoffs necessary to make a redevelopment succeed.

The team guiding this redevelopment effort seems to realize this as well and has created a new Community Advisory Council to get that input. The effort was launched after the S.C. State Ports Authority, which owns the waterfront site, paused and then ultimately cancelled its planning arrangement with Lowe, and all manner of interested organizations, including neighborhoods, churches, business groups and nonprofits, are invited to have a representative on the council to provide suggestions and feedback; we urge them to do just that. While entities are being asked to limit themselves to one representative, there is no cap on the total number who may become part of the council.

This group is forming as the College of Charleston’s Joseph P. Riley Center for Livable Communities, its Stakeholder Advisory Committee and its team of private consultants prepare to launch the public phase of the process during the third week of January.

The 70-acre site consists mostly of paved parking areas and rusting warehouses, but given its location between Ansonborough, the City Market and the Cooper River, its potential is vast. So are its challenges, which include contaminated soil, acres of unbuildable piers and significant investment needed to protect both the site and nearby areas from future flooding. And then there are the public’s hopes for new parks, access to the water, affordable housing, connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods and the cultural interpretation of the Bennett Rice Mill facade and Mosquito Fleet site.

While the Ports Authority does expect to benefit from the ultimate sale of Union Pier, it has given the planning team no target dollar figure, and that’s a helpful start. There are several major questions that must be resolved, including what ultimately should be built there, whether it should be sold and redeveloped in one deal or several deals and what a widely expected public contribution might look like. Lowe’s work on Union Pier has raised public awareness about the possibilities for waterfront park space, flood mitigation, affordable housing and the historic nature of the site, but improvements will need to paid for, and any successful redevelopment plan likely will involve many tradeoffs, including a few that will be painful to some.

As Bob O’Neill of the Riley Center told us, “We know we’re not going to make everybody happy.”

Once the planning process finishes up later next year, we hope those who aren’t happy at least understand the tradeoffs enough to appreciate and accept why they didn’t fully get their wish. And we hope the plan that emerges isn’t just something City Council, local leaders and residents can accept, but that it’s something that can actually get built and make Charleston a better place.

The best way to assure all that comes to pass is for everyone interested to step up now.

Click here for more opinion content from The Post and Courier.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

California biotech company to open $50M facility in Union County

A California-based biotech company is opening its first facility in South Carolina in Union County.MycoWorks, which creates luxury-quality leather alternatives using the trademarked Fine Mycelium, has selected Stream Realty Partners, CH Realty Partners, and Gray to help develop its first full-scale production facility in Unio...

A California-based biotech company is opening its first facility in South Carolina in Union County.

MycoWorks, which creates luxury-quality leather alternatives using the trademarked Fine Mycelium, has selected Stream Realty Partners, CH Realty Partners, and Gray to help develop its first full-scale production facility in Union, S.C., according to a news release.

CH Realty Partners LLC, a Los Angeles-based developer — in conjunction with Ascendant Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm — will invest more than $50 million to expand and improve an existing warehouse at 260 Midway Drive in Union, South Carolina, the release stated. The facility, which MycoWorks will lease with a long-term commitment, will accommodate 135,000 square feet for the company’s first full-scale Fine Mycelium production manufacturing facility

MycoWorks’ new facility will offer approximately 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space, the release stated. It will include controlled environments for mixing, filling, and sterilization; work cells for tending the product as it grows; and areas for product harvesting and finishing.

Within the existing footprint, the facility will utilize approximately 40,000 square feet for an Automated Storage Retrieval System in a highly controlled environment that will house trays of the product as it grows into sheets, the release stated. A two-story expansion of 35,000 square feet for offices will be built adjacent to the existing warehouse. The remaining footprint will be used for storage, utilities, and maintenance areas.

Stream’s National Program Management team will work with CH Realty Partners to manage all aspects of the delivery of the facility, from conceptual design through equipment installation and startup, the release stated. Stream Vice President Tom Porter, who specializes in manufacturing, will lead the project. Stream is a national real estate services, development, and investment firm with a growing office in Charlotte that services the Carolinas.

“We’ve taken a deep dive to understand MycoWorks’ business needs and created a path forward that is critical to their success as an organization,” Porter said in the release. “Together, with our partners, we have developed a strategic approach to fast-track this project and help this unique, innovative client become the world’s first commercially scaled Fine Mycelium™ platform.”

Recognized as a leader in the manufacturing industry, Lexington, Ky.-based Gray will design and build the project, according to the release.

“Gray is excited to play a pivotal role on such an innovative and technologically advanced project,” said Brian Jones, Gray president and CEO, in the release. “This unique facility is a chance not only to advance MycoWorks but also move the industry forward, and that's an incredible opportunity."

Additional exterior improvements will include a bulk unloading area for dry raw materials, storage tanks for liquid raw materials, an expanded parking lot, and a new employee entrance, according to the release.

s

State lawmakers, organizations ask U.S. Supreme Court to overturn union port win

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the union in its fight for jobs at Leatherman terminalCHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As the U.S. Supreme Court decides if it will hear arguments in the ongoing dispute over 270 South Carolina port jobs and a $1.5 million port, several lawmakers and organizations are weighing in and urging the court to take up the case.The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation on Friday filed an amicus brief in support of overturning the ruling from the ...

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the union in its fight for jobs at Leatherman terminal

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As the U.S. Supreme Court decides if it will hear arguments in the ongoing dispute over 270 South Carolina port jobs and a $1.5 million port, several lawmakers and organizations are weighing in and urging the court to take up the case.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation on Friday filed an amicus brief in support of overturning the ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that sided with the International Longshoreman’s Association allowing them to fill every role at the $1.5 billion facility.

South Carolina has long run on a hybrid model that allows state employees to operate the cranes at state port facilities while other jobs are filled by union workers.

The NRWF in the brief argues that handing the crane jobs to the union would have continued consequences beyond the initial job loss of the state employees and violates secondary boycott rules.

They argue that even if the state employees were to join a contractor with a union contract those employees would be passed over in favor of union members with longer seniority.

The labor dispute began when the ILA sued the United States Maritime Alliance for sending shipping lines to Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal shortly after the completion of its first phase two years ago. The union alleged the move violated the terms of a master contract prohibiting the use of newly constructed terminals where ILA dockworkers do not perform all unloading tasks.

For years, the ILA union held master contracts with major shipping companies along the coast and those contracts are updated over time. The most recent contract states that at any newly-opened port, unless all the jobs from the ship to the gate are performed by union members, the shipping companies will not use the new port. That’s what’s been happening at the Hugh Leatherman terminal since it opened.

Shipping line containers subsequently called off. The South Carolina State Ports Authority viewed the move as an illegal strong-arm tactic to grab new lines of work and argued a solely unionized staff would increase operational costs. The state favored a narrow definition of the jobs entitled to ILA members that excluded “lift-equipment jobs” like cranes operation.

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit endorsed a broader definition. Two of the three judges affirmed the National Labor Relations Board’s conclusion that “work” involved “the loading and unloading generally at East and Gulf Coast ports.”

The South Carolina Ports Association has called the practice a violation of secondary boycott laws. Because of the threat of lawsuits from the ILA, U.S. Maritime Association carriers will not use Leatherman.

“In their effort to maintain and expand their stranglehold on port employment all across the East Coast, ILA union bosses are putting the livelihoods of hundreds of Leatherman employees in jeopardy – employees who work side-by-side with unionized workers at Leatherman and have done nothing wrong,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said. “The Supreme Court must reverse the Biden NLRB’s erroneous ruling letting this union gambit move forward, bearing in mind that the real victims here are the nonunion port workers whose jobs ILA officials want to seize.”

The nonprofit isn’t the only one to fill a brief in support of overturning the ruling.

Gov. Henry McMaster and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp filed a brief in support of the SCSPA arguing the appellate court’s decision expanded the scope of the work-preservation doctrine beyond what was allowed under the National Labor Relations Act.

“The Leatherman Terminal is a state-of-the-art facility and a critical part of South Carolina’s economic-development portfolio and continued competitive advantage,” McMaster said. “I will not stand idly by and allow unions and their unlawful boycotts to hold our State’s resources, jobs, and supply chain hostage as out-of-state labor bosses seek to advance their own interests at the expense of state employees. South Carolinians have worked hard to earn our prosperity, and we must continue to preserve it and enhance it, not bargain it away under threats of labor union boycotts and coercive pressure campaigns. Particularly at a time when the Southeast is leading the nation in both population and job growth, I appreciate Governor Kemp joining me in this fight to maintain and advance our States’ shared interests in protecting our ports and enhancing our regional supply chain.”

“The Fourth Circuit’s decision creates a roadmap for unions to erode the equal dignity and sovereignty of the States,” the governors argue.

Ultimately, the decision will also impact Georgia’s Port of Savannah and North Carolina’s Port of Wilmington which both operate under hybrid models.

“The success of the Georgia Ports Authority speaks for itself, with the ports supporting hundreds of thousands of Georgia jobs and billions of dollars in revenues statewide,” Brian Kemp said. “To continue that momentum, it’s essential the port retains the authority to decide the appropriate operating model that secures long-term performance and benefits the consumer. By taking this action alongside our partners in South Carolina, we aim to support the future prosperity of our ports and the role of GPA in shaping that future.”

The brief argues that the Fourth Circuit’s decision undermines the pro-competitive principles that the NLRA was designed to protect and that the decision has allowed unions to use their power to harm businesses that are not unionized.

That argument was reiterated by South Carolina’s senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott who also filed an amicus brief asking the court to take up the case.

“There is no doubting this case’s importance,” Graham and Scott said. “It is important for the people of South Carolina. It is important to ensure consistent application of the law nationwide. And it is important to vindicate the federal constitutional structure, so that the People remain governed by a nation of laws, rather than ruled by administrative fiat.”

The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance said port choice is a decision that’s made based on the contents of a container, shipping routes, access to inland shipping and final destination.

“The Fourth Circuit’s coastwide view of the work caused it to treat containers of cargo as fungible, without regard to the contents of the particular containers,” the alliance said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers said the court’s decision “blurs the critical line between work preservation and acquisition.”

“The result of this conflation will be to dramatically increase the range of circumstances when unions are allowed to engage in pressure campaigns—wielding them not as a shield to preserve their own jobs, but as a sword to take away the jobs of non-union employees,” court documents state.

The groups argue the “consequences for the law and the national economy would be dire” should the court uphold the Fourth Circuit’s decision.

They argue that the Fourth Circuit misapplied the precedents used when they ruled in favor of the union.

A response from the government’s original deadline has since been extended to Nov. 29.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.