Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: labor


LABOR: Right-to-work is a step backward

Re: ”Right-to-work has benefits for many” (letter, 3-14).

Having union contractual agreements between employers and employees, including negotiated wages, without having to pay union dues is like the uninsured motorist who claims all the rights and privileges of driving without the financial obligation of auto insurance. When he has an accident, everyone else gets to pay except him.

Legislation that brought everyone more safety in the workplace, child labor laws, the 40-hour work week, industrial insurance and more resulted from union activity that included the expense of union membership dues, spilled blood and loss of life.

As the letter writer stated,

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LABOR: Oppose offshoring of living-wage jobs

Inequality may well be the defining problem of our time. The causes of inequality are complex, but one way of combating inequality is protecting worker’s rights. So why do our politicians continue to promote policies that undermine workers?

On May 29, 151 House Democrats sent a letter to the Obama administration pointing out the failure of past trade agreements to defend internationally recognized labor rights. They called for strong, enforceable labor protections in the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. TPP would include countries like Vietnam that regularly employ child and forced labor.

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck chose not to

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LABOR: Seeking just wage isn’t an ‘adaptive strategy’

Re: “Small votes show direction of organized labor” (Richard S. Davis column, 2-19).

No language, including the language of labor rights, is neutral. The relationship between language and power is real and it is clear whose side Davis is on. In his column, he needlessly rushes to the aid of union busters by cloaking his anti-workers’ rights screed in a language so platitudinized it hardly carries any meaning.

His piece is peppered with clinical abstractions to explain away the exploitative practices of the corporate class and their outrageous fortunes. To Davis, Boeing’s latest round of extortion against its machinists

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LABOR: Union jobs provide better pay, benefits

Re: “Washington’s workers deserve to know what rights they have” (Viewpoint, 6-28).

Maxford Nelsen’s article got me going. The worker has a right to choose to work at a union-negotiated job or at one that is not unionized. Most would join the union for the benefits and good wages.

My union gives to political organizations that further its agenda; so do business interests. Nelsen’s statement, “Unions are political animals,” should have also stated, “So is business.” They all contribute to political organizations to further their agendas.

I’m retired and still pay dues (my choice) for those supporting a better

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LABOR: Agreements serve the public interest

Re: “More use of labor agreements in public projects raises costs for taxpayers” (Viewpoint, 3-15).

So the use of a market-based, project-efficiency tool like project labor agreements (PLAs) for public construction don’t pass muster with the Associated General Contractors of Washington.

I wonder what they have against promoting career opportunities for local residents or strongly encouraging the use of minority- and women-owned contractors. Maybe the AGC would like to import cheap labor and have local construction workers (who pay the taxes to fund these projects) sit home unemployed.

Perhaps the AGC doesn’t like the way Toyota conducts its cost-conscious

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UNIONS: The war isn’t against workers

Teamsters president James Hoffa asserts (TNT, 9-9) that there is a war on workers. But I submit that when longshoremen shut down West Coast ports in sympathy with crowbar-wielding hooligan strikers in Longview, it is a war on the public.


UNION: Wages reflect value labor brings

As one who has spent 35 years in the stevedoring business, managing ILWU labor on behalf of shippers, I was disappointed by the thinness of economic rationale in your editorial, “Strange sympathy for Longshore lawlessness” (TNT, 9-9).

I doubt you meant it as such, but your pause – “hold your breath” – prior to detailing ILWU earnings leans a bit to the snide side when you overlook the fact that longshoring is both dangerous work and essentially day labor. Members work at the whim of ship schedules and must take work as it comes or not at all. To

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BOEING: We can’t keep waiting for ‘trickle down’ to happen

Re: “Worker should be grateful just to have a job” (letter, 7-17).

I sometimes feel lucky that I’m bald as there are letters in your paper that would make me tear my hair out if I had any. One recent example is this one in which the writer applauds Boeing for moving to a state that offers cheaper labor.

She goes on to state that people working at Boeing and other middle-class jobs are the ones who have led to our current economic mess.

The Republicans have been particularly artful the past 30 years in getting the have little or

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