Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: labor

June
5th

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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Feb.
21st

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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June
28th

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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March
16th

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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Sep.
12th

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.

Sep.
9th

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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July
18th

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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May
4th

LABOR: Federal law protects workers, not employers

Re: “Labor’s attack on Boeing sends a chilling message” (Richard S. Davis column, 5-4).

Davis is factually wrong when he says business owners have “the fundamental right … to act in the best interests of customers (and) shareholders.”

While oft repeated, that is not a fact.

Federal law, since the early part of the last century, has guaranteed rights to workers, not employers. Those protections were enshrined in law because of the widespread abuses by employers, which included deadly attacks on workers attempting to organize to obtain respect, safe working conditions and better pay. Some of those occurred in the

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