The Gutter Gorilla Difference
When it comes to gutter cleaning in York, SC, our philosophy is simple: provide our clients with quality, dependable gutter services at a fair price. Unlike some gutter cleaning companies, we believe in honesty, hard work, and helpful advice. At the end of the day, your satisfaction is our primary goal. Before we pull out of your driveway, we will take the extra time to educate you about the work we performed. That way, you can sleep with confidence, knowing that your gutters are working correctly. We genuinely take pride in our work and strive to treat your home like it was our own, so you can focus on your obligations while we handle the dirty work. Regardless of the gutter service you choose, you can rest easy knowing your home is in the hands of trained, insured professionals. Whether you need a simple gutter repair or a complete gutter installation, we have the skills to get the job done with a level of service and quality unmatched by our competition. No shortcuts. No compromises. Only efficient, trustworthy gutter services in York.
Gutter Cleaning in York, SC
We treat every gutter project as a top priority. Attention to detail is the heart and soul of our business. We go far beyond providing simple gutter services, giving you incredible insight into your seamless gutters project. Your gutter installation will be handled by licensed and insured professionals. It all starts here, please begin below.
The primary role of your gutter system is to channel water off of your roof and direct it away from your home’s foundation. Gutter blockages can result in water running over the sides of your gutters. That water will eventually settle around your foundation. With time, pooling water will affect the reliability of your home’s structure, causing cracks, mold growth, and even collapse.
Your home’s gutter system is held up by fascia boards, which are typically made of wood. When your clogged gutters overflow with water, your fascia boards will begin to rot. On top of that, your fascia boards must hold the increased weight of your clogged gutters. The combination of rot and weight can cause your gutter system to fail, resulting in expensive repairs.
If you want to maintain the beauty of your landscaping, having clog-free gutters is essential. When your gutters can’t do their job, overflowing water will pour down the sides of your home. Eventually, this water will damage the trees, shrubs, and flower beds close to the base of your home.
When your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, rainwater, and other forms of precipitation have nowhere to go. This causes water to fill your gutters to the brim. Because each gallon of water weighs around eight pounds, this extra weight will cause your gutters to crack, bend, or even tear away from your roof. Your gutters are rendered completely useless at that point, and you’re looking at very expensive repairs.
If you don’t have the time and patience to commit to proper gutter cleaning, The Gutter Gorilla team is here to help. We have been cleaning gutters in York for years. With a fully trained team of gutter professionals on staff, we have the experience and resources to clean your gutters effectively and efficiently.
Common Signs of Clogged Gutters
One of the most common questions we get at The Gutter Gorilla centers around when homeowners need gutter cleaning in York, SC. The answer is nuanced, but generally speaking, your gutters need to be cleaned twice a year or whenever they become clogged. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly easy for the average homeowner to climb up on a ladder, get on their roof, and look to see if their gutters are full of debris.
Luckily, there are some common signs that you can look out for to save yourself from costly repairs:
Gutter Installation in York, SC
Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments that you will make as an adult. As a homeowner, you know that protecting that investment is a priority. While most homeowners do a good job of staying up to date with home maintenance, sometimes life happens, and things begin to slip through the cracks. For many homeowners, gutters and downspouts are often one of those overlooked items.
Whether you need gutters installed on your new home or your old gutter system is dilapidated and needs replacing, we’ve got your back.
At The Gutter Gorilla, we specialize in custom gutter installation in York, SC. Because we have our own machinery, we are essentially cutting out middlemen manufacturers so that our customers benefit from lower prices and higher quality gutter systems. We strive to be friendly, affordable, and effective. We will always make your schedule a priority over our own.
When you trust The Gutter Gorilla with your new gutter installation, know that you are working with the best in the business.
Here are just a few reasons why we are the premier gutter installation company in York:
- We only use premium materials and install seamless, 6” aluminum k-style gutters to hold more water.
- Our installation methods are tried and tested.
- Our gutter installation experts are knowledgeable, friendly, and ready to work hard for you.
- We offer a warranty on all our products and services.
- We are licensed and insured.
- Your satisfaction is our #1 concern. We back that up with actions, not words.
When Should You Consider Gutter Installation?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether you need new gutter installation or gutter repairs. The most reliable answer will come after our team has had a chance to inspect your gutters in York. Before you call our office to schedule an inspection, consider the following symptoms of a failing gutter system:
- Gutters are starting to pull apart and separate.
- Gutter guards are starting to sag and pull away from the roof.
- The gutter hangers have begun to break or bend.
- Downspouts are starting to crease or are no longer straight.
- Gutters show signs of rust or have visible holes.
Quick, Reliable Gutter Repairs in York, SC
Cleaning and repairing gutters can be a tiresome task. We understand that the last thing you want to do with your free time is to try and figure out how to repair your damaged gutters. However, gutters that are left unrepaired can cause extensive damage to your home and lawn. If you see that your gutters are damaged, you must get them repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Gutter repairs range in complexity and can be as simple as patching a hole in one of your downspouts to re-securing gutters on your home’s fascia board. We recommend that you call our office to schedule a gutter inspection, so our team can get a full understanding of the repairs that need completing.
Here are a few signs that you should be aware of that usually require gutter repairs in York, SC:
Pooling WaterPuddles of water accumulating near your home’s foundation
LeaksThe next time it rains, grab your umbrella and check your gutters for signs of drips or leaks.
Displaced HardwareIf you notice gutter-hanging hardware laying on the ground under the edge of your roof, it’s time to call in The Gutter Gorilla. This is a sign that your gutters aren’t fastened securely. One strong gust of wind or heavy rainstorm could cause serious damage to your gutter system.
MoldCheck your basement and your attic for signs of mold growth. If you see any mold or mildew, your gutters might not be doing their job of directing water away from your home.
Peeling PaintHave you noticed that paint is starting to peel down the side of your house? Is there rust beginning to form on your gutters? If so, you could be dealing with a leak. Usually, the result of rust or a puncture, this type of problem needs to be patched by a professional
Uneven GuttersIf your gutters are uneven or starting to sag in the middle, it’s not a good sign. In situations like these, pooling water will not be able to drain towards your corner downspouts. Eventually, the entire gutter will pull away from your home. It is highly recommended that you hire our team of professionals to repair this problem before it gets even worse.
The Trusted Choice for All Your Gutter Needs in York
At The Gutter Gorilla, our commitment is to provide you with an easy, care-free, educational experience. When you give us the opportunity to earn your business, you can trust that we will provide you with the highest quality gutter repair services at the best prices in the Lowcountry. From the moment we first visit your home for an inspection to the time we do our final walk though, your satisfaction is our top priority.
Ready to get started? Start your free estimate right from our website, or give our office a call today to learn more about our exceptional gutter services in York. We will handle the heavy lifting while you spend your free time enjoying life!Contact Us
Latest News in York
Historian connects York County families with North Carolina homeland
Charles Orr's family is one of those who arrived in York County with the Great Migration.Orr family members joined scores of York’s Black families arriving from Bamberg, S.C., and other parts of the South from about World War I to the 1970s.This member of an accomplished York County family succinctly explained the York connection in a quote I used in my 2002 book “Almost Forgotten”:"It (York) was a stone's throw from Baltimore, which was a major rail link to the North. York was virtu...
Charles Orr's family is one of those who arrived in York County with the Great Migration.
Orr family members joined scores of York’s Black families arriving from Bamberg, S.C., and other parts of the South from about World War I to the 1970s.
This member of an accomplished York County family succinctly explained the York connection in a quote I used in my 2002 book “Almost Forgotten”:
"It (York) was a stone's throw from Baltimore, which was a major rail link to the North. York was virtually a straight line to better housing; better schools; no rigid segregation laws; a pace of life similar to 'down home,' a straight line to jobs and opportunity."
So the Orrs and scores of other York County families - Nimmons, Jones, Saxon, Varnes, Green and Kearse - were among the six million Black Americans who moved from the rural South to the urban Northeast, Midwest and West.
In York County, the new residents from the South joined scores of Black families that had called York County home for generations. In 1790, York County was second in the state behind Philadelphia in both the number of enslaved people and freedmen.
The story of the Bambergers and their many contributions to York County have become well known.
In recent months, details about contributions to York County from another region of the South have emerged - from eastern and northeastern North Carolina.
Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood came to York last weekend to take in the place that so many of his fellow Bertie County, North Carolina, residents have lived for generations since moving North.
And in his visits to the historically Black Lebanon Cemetery, meetings with Smallwood and other family members and a tour of York’s downtown, this history professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University taught about the Bertie County homeland. That was the home of these families, among other well-known York County residents: Hawkins, Outlaw, Atterberry, Rascoe, Mitchell, Williams, and Biggs.
Like those from the Bamberg area, people from this North Carolina county left a life of sharecropping and tenant farming in the Jim Crow South for opportunity in York. Like the South Carolina families, they followed rail and bus paths north.
And when one family member settled in York County, other family members followed. Some of these families stayed, enjoying regular visits to the South – a journey that took place for generations. And those visits have worked the other way, too.
Living in Bertie County
Here is a sampling of stories told by Arwin Smallwood in his visit or on the pages of his book “Bertie County, An Eastern Carolina History.”
A big part of the Bertie story rests with North Carolina’s status as having the highest number of Native Americans of any state east of the Mississippi. So the American Indian story is interwoven with those of enslaved and formerly enslaved Blacks and white Europeans. Indeed, Bertie County is home of a Tuscarora Indian Reservation, Indian Woods. Many residents have different combinations of those people, including some with all three heritages. Thus, the Bertie people in York County would have similar heritages. Smallwood is of mixed-blood Tuscarora heritage.
The lives of residents in Bertie County have shaped and been shaped by the landscape. That land is blessed with fertile soil. The “three sisters” - corn, beans and squash - have been a staple of crops grown in the heavily agricultural county. Those have been joined by the “cash crops” - wheat, tobacco, cotton and peanuts.
Bertie rests in the western coastal plains of northeastern North Carolina, and its position above sea level means that it is not as adversely impacted by hurricanes as the tidewater area. That said, a 500-year hurricane - Floyd in 1999 - caused millions in damage to Bertie County.
In his book, Smallwood provided a glimpse of what was left behind when large numbers of young people and families followed the well-worn routes in quest of opportunity in the North. Interestingly, when that happened between 1950 and 1980, the county emerged with new vigor and cohesiveness. “The loss of people … began to end the clannish behavior of many of the county’s residents,” he said.
At a Smallwood presentation, Joe Hawkins, 81, told his story about connections with Bertie County – perhaps a typical story. He was born there and grew up mostly in York. But his family would go back and forth visiting kinsmen in Bertie County. He graduated from York High in 1958, and then military service meant widespread travel. He calls York County home today.
Tennessee connections, too
York County resident Samantha Dorm, with family ties to the Smallwood and other Bertie County families, helped organize Arwin Smallwood’s visit to York County.
She’s already planning to connect the historian with family members in Haywood County, Tenn.
The Haywood connection came this way: During slavery, a family member was taken from North Carolina to Haywood. Descendants of the slave owners have maintained the cemetery of those enslaved and are working with descendants of those formerly enslaved people to document and preserve their stories.
So the weaving of the threads of York family stories with those in the South continues.
And Bertie stories intersect with those with ties to South Carolina. As Dorm is learning about her family connections with Bertie, she is also interested in her late father’s family: Russell Dorm’s kinsmen came from the Bamberg area.
A Tree That Was Once the Suburban Ideal Has Morphed Into an Unstoppable Villain
New York Times
CLEMSON, S.C. — In the distance, beside a brick house in a tidy subdivision, the trees rose above a wooden fence, showing off all that had made the Bradford pear so alluring: They were towering and robust and, in the early spring, had white flowers that turned their limbs into perfect clouds of cotton.But when David Coyle, a professor of forest health at Clemson University, pulled over in his pickup, he could see the monster those trees had spawned: a forbidding jungle that had consumed an open lot nearby, where the same white f...
CLEMSON, S.C. — In the distance, beside a brick house in a tidy subdivision, the trees rose above a wooden fence, showing off all that had made the Bradford pear so alluring: They were towering and robust and, in the early spring, had white flowers that turned their limbs into perfect clouds of cotton.
But when David Coyle, a professor of forest health at Clemson University, pulled over in his pickup, he could see the monster those trees had spawned: a forbidding jungle that had consumed an open lot nearby, where the same white flowers were blooming uncontrollably in a thicket of tangled branches studded with thorns.
“When this tree gets growing somewhere, it does not take long to take over the whole thing,” Professor Coyle, an invasive species expert, said. “It just wipes everything out underneath it.”
Beginning in the 1960s, as suburbs sprouted across the South, clearing land for labyrinths of cul-de-sacs and two-car garages, Bradford pears were the trees of choice. They were easily available, could thrive in almost any soil and had an appealing shape with mahogany-red leaves that lingered deep into the fall and flowers that appeared early in the spring.
The trees’ popularity soared during a transformational time, as millions of Americans moved in pursuit of the comfort and order that suburban neighborhoods were designed to provide. “Few trees possess every desired attribute,” the gardening pages of The New York Times declared in 1964, “but the Bradford ornamental pear comes unusually close to the ideal.”
Yet for all that promise, the trees wound up an unwieldy menace, one that has vexed botanists, homeowners, farmers, conservationists, utility companies and government officials in a growing swath of the country across the East Coast and reaching into Texas and the Midwest.
In South Carolina, the fight has intensified. The state is in the process of barring the sale and trade of the trees. Professor Coyle, who tracks plants and insects that have intruded into South Carolina and tries to limit their damage, has organized “bounty” programs, where people who bring in evidence of a slain tree get a native replacement in return.
The downsides of the Bradford pear were subtle at first. Its white flowers, as pretty as they were, emitted a fetid odor that smells almost fishy. But as the trees aged, more and more negatives emerged. They had a poor branch structure, leaving them prone to snapping and toppling in storms, sending limbs onto power lines, sidewalks and the roofs of homes they were supposed to beautify.
But the most far-reaching consequence emerged as pear trees began colonizing open fields, farmland, river banks and ditches, and rising between the pines along the highways from Georgia up through the Carolinas, edging out native species and upending ecosystems. The trees grow rapidly, climbing to as high as 15 feet within a decade. (They can ultimately reach 50 feet high and 30 feet wide.)
“You can’t miss it,” said Tim Rogers, the general manager of a company that sells plants and supplies to landscaping companies. “It’s everywhere.”
The Bradford pear is a cultivar of the callery pear, meaning it is a variety produced by selective breeding — in this case, devising a tree that did not have the thorns of some other varieties and was unbothered by pests.
But like the familiar plot of science-fiction stories, the creation that seemed too good to be true was, indeed, too good to be true. The Bradford pear had been billed as sterile, but that was not exactly right. Two Bradford pears cannot reproduce, scientists said, but they can cross-pollinate with other pear trees, and their seeds are spread widely by birds.
It is the resulting callery pear growth that alarms scientists: These trees spread rapidly, have thorns that are three or four inches long and cluster close together, disrupting life for insects and other plants. “It’s a food desert for a bird,” Professor Coyle said, noting that the trees do not sustain caterpillars and other herbivorous insects. “There’s nothing to eat there.”
The callery pear, which is native to East Asia, was originally brought to the United States by federal researchers who sought a species that resisted blight and could be bred with the European pear to bolster fruit production. But scientists recognized its potential as an ornamental tree, spurring the development of the Bradford pear.
The tree’s popularity was largely concentrated in the Southeast and along the Mid-Atlantic coast. But it has been planted across the country, dotting lawns and the entrances to subdivisions and shopping malls.
“There are some places where I’ve seen entire campuses planted with this one tree,” said Nina Bassuk, a professor and director at the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University. “If you’re there in April, it’s just this sea of white.” But then, she added, “Bradfords became a problem.” Aging trees were falling apart, she said, and “we started noticing them in places where they weren’t planted.”
Officials in South Carolina added the Bradford pear to its State Plant Pest List this year, and initiated a ban that goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2024. Ohio is the only other state that has taken similar measures with the callery pear, with a ban beginning in 2023. Delaware enacted more sweeping legislation this year that bars the selling, importing or planting of any invasive species.
In other states, efforts to ban the trees have faced resistance from the plant industry, researchers said, given how much nurseries rely on their hardiness in using it as rootstock.
But in South Carolina, industry leaders said that researchers convinced them that alternatives were available. The decision was also easier because, as a landscaping tree, Bradford pears had plummeted in popularity. “That plant has been on a decline for a really long time,” said Mr. Rogers, who is also the president-elect of S.C. Green, an industry association.
In the past, customers had sought out the trees, even as their troubles became more widely understood. “I would call them a necessary evil in terms of inventory,” Mr. Rogers said. But those days are long past. “It’s not even in our catalog,” he added.
Scientists and officials said that the public is developing a more sophisticated understanding of the consequences that landscaping choices can have. They point to the Southwest, where drought-friendly designs have grown in popularity as water has become more scarce.
In the South, many were already familiar with the threat of invasive species as the region has grappled with plants like privet and, most of all, kudzu, the Asian vine described as the plant that ate the South, blanketing much of the landscape and breeding myths about the speed and reach of its growth.
Still, state officials and homeowners are left to contend with the countless Bradford pears planted in years past. One Saturday last month, Professor Coyle traveled to Columbia, the state capital, for the latest of the bounty exchanges that he has organized across South Carolina.
A flatbed trailer was loaded with scores of potted native trees: Shumard oak, yellow poplar, persimmon, Eastern red cedar, sweet bay magnolia. Professor Coyle noted the trailer was parked in the shade of a Chinese pistache, another nonnative plant.
The dozens of people who signed up could collect one of the native trees in exchange for proof of a vanquished pear tree. (A selfie posing with the tree sufficed.)
Valerie Krupp had printed out photographs of the Bradford pears that had toppled over in her yard, ruining her gutters and clipping the corner of her house. “I wish I had taken them out a lot sooner,” she said. She picked out a live oak, a Shumard oak and a magnolia, and she said she looked forward to their growing and filling the void left by the pear trees. “I enjoyed the shade,” she said.
As Rick Dorn loaded his replacements into the bed of his truck, he described the torment of dealing with an infestation of callery pear. The thorns might be the worst part. “They will punch a hole into a tire,” he said.
His family owns a spread of about 60 acres near Irmo, a suburb of Columbia. The land has been overtaken by the trees, which, he noted, popped up around the same time as the subdivisions that now surround the property.
Professor Coyle believed that his efforts have notched some progress: Hundreds of trees have been swapped through the bounty programs, and he saw the ban as a major step. Still, they were incremental advances against a force of nature.
“I know this isn’t going to be a quick fix,” Professor Coyle said. “If we’re being honest, I’ll be working on callery pear for my entire career.”
But incremental progress was better than none at all.
“Little by little, man,” he said. “Little by little.”
Thanksgiving week DUI, distracted driving, targeted in York, Chester, Lancaster
Police in York, Chester and Lancaster counties will have extra enforcement on roads through the weekend of Thanksgiving, officials said.Extra officers and assistance will be on highways through the holiday weekend paying special attention to speed, distracted driving, and commercial traffic, according to a statement from the S.C. Department of Public Safety.Traffic volume is expected to be 13 percent higher than the Thanksgiving holiday in 2020 when traffic was...
Police in York, Chester and Lancaster counties will have extra enforcement on roads through the weekend of Thanksgiving, officials said.
Extra officers and assistance will be on highways through the holiday weekend paying special attention to speed, distracted driving, and commercial traffic, according to a statement from the S.C. Department of Public Safety.
Traffic volume is expected to be 13 percent higher than the Thanksgiving holiday in 2020 when traffic was down because of COVID-19, public safety officials said.
“We need everyone traveling to help us, too,” said Public Safety Director Robert G. Woods IV. “Ensure your vehicles are in good working order before getting on the road, stay alert, and because travel is expected to be up this year, motorists should expect stop-and-go traffic in congested areas.”
There were 1,334 crashes during the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday period, resulting in 14 deaths on South Carolina roadways, public safety statistics show.
The S.C. Highway Patrol, a division of the public safety department, said Thanksgiving is among the busiest road travel weekends of the year.
“We see traffic increase on interstates as well as highways and secondary roadways,” said highway patrol Col. Chris Williamson. “The best advice our troopers can give motorists is to buckle up, reduce your speed, and limit distractions – whether you are driving across town or traveling long distances on the interstate.”
Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said avoiding drunk driving or any driving under the influence is vital during the holiday weekend when travel volumes are high. Deputies will be paying particular attention to cars seemingly operated by impaired drivers, Faile said in a statement.
“The best way to avoid being charged with DUI is don’t drink and drive,” Faile said. “Even one drink is too many to get behind the wheel. Stay home if you’re going to drink, or arrange a designated driver or a ride service if you go out.”
The York County Sheriff’s Office has issued social media public service announcements on Facebook and Twitter and on its Web site to remind holiday drivers to schedule stops every two hours or 100 miles for long trips to avoid drowsy driving. Drivers should stop for a stretch then resume longer trips, deputies said.
Chester County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Grant Suskin said patrol deputies will be working through the weekend on traffic safety and enforcement.
Gas prices are more than $1.30 per gallon higher than Thanksgiving 2020, AAA officials said. Gas prices have dropped a few cents per gallon in the past week, AAA said, but remain over $3 per gallon across South Carolina.
Although there is the possibility of showers Thanksgiving Day, most of the holiday weekend locally is expected to be dry, forecasters with the National Weather Service said. Temperatures will be in the 50s close to 60 during the day through Sunday with lows around freezing.
Deputies arrest man, seize 80 dogs, meth, illegal guns from home in York, S.C.
WBTV Web Staff
YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Deputies say they seized 80 dogs, meth, illegal guns and other animals from a home in York, S.C. Monday morning.In total, 80 dogs, two monkeys and a bird were the animals seized from the home. The 83 animals are now in the care of York County Animal Control.After several months of investigation about poor living conditions and concerns of the health of the animals at a house off West Liberty Hill Road, deputies arrested 63-year-old David Andrew Barber, 63 and seized the animals. Deputies say the man w...
YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Deputies say they seized 80 dogs, meth, illegal guns and other animals from a home in York, S.C. Monday morning.
In total, 80 dogs, two monkeys and a bird were the animals seized from the home. The 83 animals are now in the care of York County Animal Control.
After several months of investigation about poor living conditions and concerns of the health of the animals at a house off West Liberty Hill Road, deputies arrested 63-year-old David Andrew Barber, 63 and seized the animals. Deputies say the man was selling the dogs on the internet.
This is the home where the @YCSO_SC seized 80 dogs, two monkeys and a bird from what they say were "horrible living conditions." They say the man who lived here was selling the dogs on the internet. @WBTV_News Tonight at 4 & 5 -- I'll tell you where the animals are now. pic.twitter.com/j8XB8rUzmw— Paige Pauroso (@PaigePauroso) July 26, 2021
On Monday, York County deputies along with York County Animal Control officers responded to a home on West Liberty Hill Road after reports of dozens of animals in unhealthy living conditions.
Responding deputies and animal control officers located 80 small breed dogs, two monkeys, and one bird in very poor living conditions inside and outside of the home.
“The smell about knocked me over. There were feces everywhere. Flies everywhere,” said Trent Faris, the public information officer for the York County Sheriff’s office. “I can tell you I walked into the house. Very very poor living conditions. Not only for him but also the animals.”
After investigating, preliminary charges against Barber are multiple counts of ill treatment of animals, hoarding of animals, and potentially other charges are pending after veterinary examination of the animals.
In addition during the search, deputies discovered methamphetamine and seized multiple firearms.
“We are thankful for the team work between our deputies and animal control to make sure these animals get the care they need, and hopefully in the future a loving home.” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson.
The only circumstances where law enforcement can legally remove an animal is where exigent circumstances exist or by court order or search warrant. Exigent circumstances would be imminent danger of death or destruction of evidence.
All animals will be examined by a veterinarian for health conditions for future placement.
This investigation is ongoing and deputies say there’s no evidence of dogfighting or baiting.
Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.
Local, state leaders, concerned citizens still waiting for reply from Giti CEO
CHESTER, S.C. (WBTV) - Chester County and state leaders are demanding better working conditions for employees at a tire manufacturing plant in Richburg.The leaders want to meet with the CEO of Giti Tire to discuss workers “being treated without dignity.” They are giving Giti until December 3 to respond.The letter was signed by more than 45 local and state leaders, religious figures and union representatives demanding a sit-down meeting with Giti’s CEO, but the representative that handed it over does not know i...
CHESTER, S.C. (WBTV) - Chester County and state leaders are demanding better working conditions for employees at a tire manufacturing plant in Richburg.
The leaders want to meet with the CEO of Giti Tire to discuss workers “being treated without dignity.” They are giving Giti until December 3 to respond.
The letter was signed by more than 45 local and state leaders, religious figures and union representatives demanding a sit-down meeting with Giti’s CEO, but the representative that handed it over does not know if it was delivered. According to him, an officer, who came to clear the group from the front gates, told the group he would deliver the letter to a manager himself.
”I was really disturbed,” says Councilwoman Tabatha Strothers.
Last week, she and about 40 people stood at the front entrance with a handwritten letter for the company’s CEO. The group has been hearing directly from employees who say the working conditions have not been good.
”This is an outrage. Our whole community should be outraged,” she says.
The group, who came here a week ago, included concerned citizens, religious leaders, and several state representatives. They say anonymous reports from workers detail mandatory overtime, unpredictable schedules, and low wages.
Singapore-owned Giti Tire opened its South Carolina facility in 2017 and employs almost 750 people. When the company signed on to come to Chester County, it promised 1,700 jobs within 10 years. Strothers says the company broke promises, which she feels is unacceptable.
“As elected officials, we need to require more of them and see to it that they live up to what they have promised,” says Strothers.
For her, this also means living up to the promises made by Giti when the company arrived in Chester County in 2017. Despite promises of a $20 wage and 1,700 hired workers, employees say the pay is about $12 for some and less than 750 people are working at the plant according to Chester County Economic Development. In a statement sent to WBTV, Giti says they have 600 workers at the plant. The company is hiring.
”You can’t mistreat people as if it’s ok because it’s not,” says Strothers.
The letter asks Giti to re-establish a commitment to livable wages and the ability to unionize. So far, no response from the company.
”It shows a refusal to answer our calls. And so this is a lesson learned,” says Representative John King, a York representative who was also signed and delivered the letter to Giti.
He says the lesson learned does not mean they give up this current fight for the Giti workers. However, he feels like moving forward, other companies should have some kind of contractually built-in repercussions if workers step forward with major grievances. He says that should be included when discussing tax breaks for new companies that come to the area.
”Just because someone doesn’t respond doesn’t mean we wash our hands of it. No, we’re gonna fight like hell for those people because they have fought for us to represent them and be their voices,” says King.
Giti Tire did respond to our request for comment. The company’s Director of Industry Relations, David Shelton, says “As a member of the Chester County community, Giti Tire always welcomes sincere and legitimate input from our team members and other community members. As a core principle, Giti Tire works very hard to ensure we have all the facts and accurate information before taking action.” The statement did not mention receiving the letter or responding by the deadline.
WBTV asked Strothers what the next steps are if Giti does not comply with their demand to meet by Friday. She says they are working on a plan but did not want to expand on specifics. She did say that they will have more resources and more people to continue the fight.
The full statement from Giti here:
Giti Tire is proud to call South Carolina home to our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility where dedicated team members produce high-quality, American-made tires. We’ve been able to provide an exceptional array of jobs in Chester County for operators, technicians, polymer experts, engineers in chemical, mechanical, civil, computer science, and electrical fields, administrative, finance and accounting, and many others all while providing strong benefits and competitive salaries.
As a member of the Chester County community, Giti Tire always welcomes sincere and legitimate input from our team members and other community members. As a core principle, Giti Tire works very hard to ensure we have all the facts and accurate information before taking action. We certainly hope others will also be diligent in confirming the facts and evaluating items coming from parties outside of our Chester County operations who are providing false and misleading information. We recognize this is part of an organized, union-led effort. People who have been a part of our community, and surrounding communities, know that you can have problems with union representation that can hurt job security and long-term success. These are facts people need to know before even thinking a union is best for them and their families.
At Giti Tire, we have always recognized that our team members are the strength of our operations and the key to our future success. This was exceptionally clear as the United States reopened from the COVID-19 shutdown. Like many companies, we experienced an increase in demand for our products, requiring a dramatic production response. Our Giti Tire team joined together and sacrificed time and energy to restart operations and serve our customers. Once operations fully restarted and demand normalized, our production and schedules also returned to a more balanced work life experience and we were able to provide a salary increase for many.
Over the last 20 months, Giti Tire has also increased employee communications and engagement as we have worked to navigate the pandemic. Our 600 employees are our number one priority and most valuable asset. We believe they can, and should, be able to communicate directly with us without the need of a third party such as a union.
Therefore, we always welcome the opportunity to hear from employees and provide open lines of communications. We also want to ensure citizens in South Carolina know the facts and we look forward to sharing our story. Chester County is an excellent home for Giti Tire. We are continuing to invest in our South Carolina operations as we plan to be here for many years to come.
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