Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: labor unions

June
6th

LABOR: Lesson learned from Wisconsin

The election in Wisconsin is over. I hope wounds heal and the state keeps moving in the right direction toward fiscal responsibility and fairness to taxpayers.

I believe we may be too blue a state to end collective bargaining, but other parts of Wisconsin’s union reforms should be considered by the Washington state Legislature and governor.

The fact that state worker dues are mandatory and collected by the state doesn’t pass the smell test. Presently taxpayers pay the administrative cost to collect these dues and send the dollars to the unions. State worker unions in turn donate that money to

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Oct.
31st

UNIONS: Taxpayers’ voice needed in labor deals

Re: News Tribune editorials of 10-26 and 10-28. The former advised readers that the state PTA has gotten tired of “waiting for Superman.” I suspect many readers did not recognize the reference to the film, “Waiting for Superman,” a documentory on charter schools.

The same producer/director team that gave us Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” produced/directed this film, so they cannot be suspected of conservative prejudices, when the film identifies teachers unions as the villains responsible for poor public school performance.

It is especially surprising that Washington is behind the curve when it comes to charter schools because the

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Sep.
19th

UNIONS: Practices are illegal, divisive and harmful

There are union picketers outside the new grocery store in downtown Tacoma. They are asking for fair labor practices by the grocer. However, if you talk to the employees of the store, they are not interested in being unionized. They currently receive better pay, better benefits and more hours than they would if they were unionized.

So what exactly is the union protesting? The union is protesting not being the source of the grocer’s labor. Ironically, being a part of the union would have no benefit to the new store’s employees. In fact, it would hurt the workers of the

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Sep.
8th

UNIONS: George Will advocates for the powerful

Re: “Government shouldn’t so easily erase individual rights” (George Will column, 9-8).

This opinion piece clearly demonstrates Will’s ability to take a position and then write an argument to support that position regardless of the facts.

Will strongly argues that government has overstepped in regulating employment. He makes it sound like big, bad, burdensome government is picking on poor individual employers by limiting working to 10 hours per day (in the case discussed). He waxes poetic: “The individual possesses inalienable rights – here, liberty of contract – that cannot be legislated away for casual or disreputable reasons.”

So in

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Dec.
20th

TACOMA: Unions aren’t the bad guys

Re: “Economy doesn’t stop hefty city pay raises” (TNT, 12-19).

After ages of hearing The News Tribune bang on about how the unions are the bad guys, busting our city budget, it is very interesting to note that all the really large pay raises go to non-union employees.

This hardly squares with the impression so often put forth on these pages.

July
28th

UNIONS: Merryman missed the point about volunteers

Re: “Unions should encourage – not slap down – volunteer help” (Kathleen Merryman column, 7-28).

Merryman has no bigger fan than me, but I think she missed some important points.

As I understand it, the issue that the Teamsters are fighting is the county’s violation of the collective bargaining agreement, which – like most – calls for negotiation on changes to wages and working conditions. Had the employer honestly chosen to negotiate, rather than relapse into a traditional, paternalistic “you’ll do what we damned well tell you” stance, the problems outlined in the column might have been avoided.

Merryman rightly

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