Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

UNION: Place blame where it really belongs

Letter by Chris W. Heminger, Tacoma on Feb. 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm | 8 Comments »
February 22, 2011 1:54 pm

Re: “Original mandate grossly overstepped” (letter, 2-19).

The letter writer’s perspective is incorrect.

Private sector unions did not destroy American competitiveness, as suggested; American and foreign corporations shipped jobs overseas to maximize profits and bonuses. These jobs went to countries that do not provide for their workers’ safety and well-being.

Unions did not begin “infiltrating” local, state and federal governments in the 1970s. My union, the International Association of Fire Fighters, was organized Feb. 28, 1918, nearly 93 years ago and has responsibly represented America’s firefighters.

Unions also did not send the cost of government spiraling out of control and did not set the stage for the problems our nation faces. As a past contract negotiator, we negotiated costs within given budgets, numbers conservatively derived to avoid tax increases.

I submit that deficit budget policies first brought forth during Republican presidential administrations set the stage. Add a mortgage crisis and irresponsible Wall Street greed along with declining tax revenues, and I believe that is where some of the problems lie. Throw in two unfunded wars, and the problems appear worse.

However, a question: Does that letter writer enjoy a 40-hour work week with benefits?

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