Comments about ‘Readers' forum: Protect workers’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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KDave
Moab, UT

It is simple, if someone doesn't want to give a chunk of their paycheck to a union thug, they should not be forced to do so. It is called freedom.

higv
Dietrich, ID

unions are responsible for raising prices and hurting businesses which employ people. They have not helped too many people.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

Couldn't have said it better myself. I can't wait to read what mike richards, redshirt, mountain man and others have to say.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Years ago I worked for a very large company that had no "union problem." Reason? They took good care of their employees and provided great benefits. Employers don't realized that taking good care of their employees is the surest way to long term success. Working with unions can lead to great results. Unions, representing the employees, can be great partners. Stop looking at employees and unions as the enemy, and all will thrive over the long term. I have found it ironic that U.S. companies take good jobs overseas, and then wonder why they have a weaker consumer base her at home. In the long run, sticking it to your own people is nothing but slow suicide.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Let me tell you of an experience that I had at a trade show in Las Vegas. I had developed an electronic device that one of my customers wanted to display in his booth. In order to do that, I had to "hire" a teamster to carry my laptop sized package into the building. I had to "hire" a carpenter to open the card-board box and I had to "hire" an electrician to plug the device into an electrical socket. Each union member charged $20 cash. After the trade show ended, I had to pay those three unions to "help" me with that device. It cost $120.

No one was allowed to do the ordinary things that we all do everyday.

If the unions had their way, a teamster would have to carry our groceries from the store to the car and a member of the electricians union would have to be called to change our light bulbs.

Unions want us to be forced to pay them for jobs that we can do, and then they want a very nice retirement. Look at GM and Chrysler.

Thank goodness Utah is a right to work State.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

If you have ever worked for a competitive wage or received a company paid benefit such as health insurance or had a system of airing grievances in the work place then you owe appreciation to organized labor. In right to work states you work for less and are more likely to be injured and injured more seriously. These are facts that fools don't appreciate until something happens or they try to find another job. If you think wages have been stagnant in the past 20 years, which they have, then take away the only form of true democracy in the workplace and see what happens. Yes, power corrupts but when the dictators have no push back you are another step closer to slavery.

homebrew
South Jordan, UT

Great letter. The Gop has been on the attack ever since Ronny Reagan fired the air traffic controlers. Deregulation destroyed the trucking and airline industies. Destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs. What we need is a national union, where everyone has healthcare. Oh wait Obama and the rest of congress passed the affordable healthcare act. Good start.

Furry1993
Clearfield, UT

If you work a 40-hour work week, thank the unions. If you are paid at an overtime rate for working more than 40 hours a week, thank the unions. If you have two days a week off, thank the unions. If you have a paid vacation, thank the unions. If you have holidays off, thank the unions. If you have safe working conditions, And a lot more.

Granted unions can go over-the-top on occasion, BUT the decent working conditions we have now are all thanks to past union activities. Thanks to them for the work they have done in the past that makes all of our lives better now.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Although weâve come a long way baby, thereâs still a long way to go and itâs all uphill.

Some tell us we are not like the other animals. We have the ability to think and therefore are no longer enslaved by our natural needs and desires. They try to hide the fact that we still live in a jungle where the strong eat the weak.

I think the ones telling us that, are ones who have not let go of their predatory nature.

The same people who propagandize freedom and liberty are the same people who would strip people of their freedom and liberty in their quest for wealth.

Business, who owns the government, wants to create un unfair game where they have the advantage and can diminish the power of their opponents. In this case, those people who are workers and consumers.

They claim freedom for themselves, in actions, size and motivation, while working diligently to prevent worker/consumer combinations that could ask for equal treatment.

They tout personal responsibility and singular effort as virtue to prevent cooperative power for their âfriendly enemiesâ in the worker/consumer group.

They demean, mischaracterize as evil and use all sorts of detrimental propagandizing to weaken and remove protection from their prey.

The thing we have going in our favor is the union we call America, membership is automatic though not mandatory, dues are required and to some extent we get to vote.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

The GOP doesn't care about Ameircans getting jobs.

And have said as much:

** 'John Boehner: If GOP Cuts Cause Federal Job Losses...'So Be It' - Huffington Post - 02/15/11

** âSenate Republicans likely to kill Obama jobs billâ â By Andrew Taylor â AP â Published by DSNews â 10/11/11

** âMitt Romney: âI like being able to fire peopleâ for bad serviceâ â By Lucy Madison/Sarah Boxer â CBS News â 01/09/12

VST
Bountiful, UT

Union membership is something whose time has come and gone; it served workers well during the heyday in the first 75 or so years of the 20th century, but Labor Unions have now has become irrelevant.

I cite just two specific statistics that shows this to be true:

In 2011, the union membership rate of wage and salary workers who were members of a union has dwindled down to 11.8 percent. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent. [Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011].

Union membership peaked at 28.3 percent in 1954. [Source: Congressional Research Source for Congress, 31 Aug 2004].

Just a side note: The majority of today's Union member's work for Federal, State, and Local Governments; not the private sector.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Mike Richards -- your 9:19 post is pure fantasy.

I just returned from a California trade show and never came across anything like your "experience."

Have you ever considered just telling the truth?

one old man
Ogden, UT

The GOP is dedicated to taking us all back to the Gilded Age when wealthy people made no attempt to hide their exploitation of the workers who provided their wealth.

All American
Herriman, UT

Most of you are missing the point of Republicans against unions - including the author of this letter, Terryl Erickson. Wisconsin's governor is not against unions, nor is he trying to get rid of them. He is only against "public employee unions" using taxpayer money to line the pockets of the union leaders and confiscate tax dollars by continuously trying to raise salaries, give public employees free healthcare, and overly generous retirements at taxpayer expense.

It is true that because of unions, we all have better working conditions than there were back in the day of their origination. We don't need unions nearly a much today as we did back then. In fact, IMHO, we don't need unions at all - but that's another story.

The problem at hand is that public employees should never have been allowed to unionize - not when they are being paid with my tax dollars and yours. Why should the tax dollars of someone making $10 an hour contribute to a public employee's healthcare? And if public employees feel they need to fork out a big chunk of their paycheck to have someone speak for them, I call that copping out. Private sector employees handle their own issues. And why do most public employees make more money (taxpayer funded) than a comparable job in the private sector?

It's just fine if you union members want to fork out money to your union, but you are also paying for public employees. So you are double paying money that could be in your pocket. How does that sit with you?

The cushy government jobs have been well-known for years and years. There is nothing different now, except that the public is tired of funding those cushy jobs with great healthcare and better retirement than most of the rest of us. The time has come for the taxpayers to stand up to public employee unions - we've had enough of paying for them.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

There needs to be a balance beween Unions and Management/owners. The companies are united. Workers need to be united too, or else workers will not get their just share of the wealth they help to produce.

Even workers who aren't a member of a union or who work at a place that is unionized benefit from workers who do unite.

Without the threat of unions and the laws that unions have helped to pass, workers would not have nearly what they have today.

Unless we want a world where management and owners get way more than their share of the wealth and workers don't get their due, people need to guard against this.

Unions are an important piece in this.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Let's take a look at the Republican party and Unions, recently. October '11:

** 'Mitt Romney steers clear of Ohio health, union issues' - By Dan Sewell - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/25/11

Then:

** 'Mitt Romney reverses himself, supports anti-union law' - By Philip Elliott - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/26/11

'FAIRFAX, Va. â A day after he refused to endorse an Ohio ballot measure that limits public employee union rights, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Wednesday that he is "110 percent" behind the effort.' â article

A complete reversal in stance, in just x24 hours.

Result?

** âOhio voters reject Republican-backed union limitsâ â By Julie Carr Smyth â AP â Published by Dsnews â 11/08/11

If it's 'about the economy stupid'...how does the Republican party look...trying to keep Americans in sweat shops?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Fact --

Companies with Unions still employ Americans,
Companies without Unions moved, and employ the Communists in China.

Therefore,
Unions are Pro-American,
Anti-Union Conservatives are ANTI-American.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I feel bad for whoever wins the GOP Presidential nomination.

The GOP platform of being --

anti-Social Security
anti-worker
anti-Healthcare
anti-Women's issues
anti-Taxing the Uber-Wealthy
but
Pro-War
Pro-WallStreet
Pro-Uber Wealthy

shows just how out of touch the GOP has become to the 99%.

I predict Obama unseating Ronald Reagan for greatest landslide election victory in the last 40 years.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

one old man,

I don't like being called a liar.

It was at PMA. The booth was rented by Lucht Engineering. Orrin Lucht, living in Farmington, Minnesota, owned the company. Steven Bartz, head of engineering, was by primary contact.

You have the right to say whatever you want, but you had better back up your facts if you ever call me a liar again.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "LDS Liberal" I hate to tell you this, but everything that you say about the GOP can be said equally about the Democrats.

Lets look at their record, not just rhetoric.

The Democrats enacted a SS tax break over a year ago. This tax break will contribute to the implosion of SS. Why are the Democrats out to destroy SS through sucking the life out of it?

The Democrats are anti-worker, or at least anti-US worker. When the Democrats were proposing their Cap-and-Trade bill, it included incentives for companies to move their manufacturing overseas. Also, lets not forget it was Obama, who added $9 billion in red tape in 1 month last year. This sort of action pushes companies to seek countries that are business friendly.

The Democrats are anti-Healthcare also. Just look at the healthcare bill. It was designed to take care of less than 50% of the uninsured, it raised the cost of insurance through new mandates, and increased its overall cost through taxes on premium insurance plans. If they really wanted to provide care to the uninsured, why not create a government agency full of doctors, clinics and labs? Why go after the middleman?

They are anti-women's issue because they want to make sex more acceptable, and eliminate the consequences of insufficient protection. Women are complaining about the lack of decent men to marry, why are Democrats not addressing that? Couldn't we eliminate the "women's issues" if men were taught to be a man and wait until marriage for sex?

The Democrats are anti-taxing the wealthy. Just look at the tax cuts they have allowed to either continue or to be passed. The Bush tax cuts expired in December 2010, the Democrat controlled congress and President extended those cuts.

The Democrats are Pro-War. Just look at how quick they were to send US planes into Libya, the surge into Afghanistan, and the troops into Africa. Also, consider this, if they are so anti-war, why have they funded it for the past 11 years? Why not defund the war and pull the troops back immediately, they have the ability to do so whenever they want.

The Democrats are pro-uber wealthy. Just look at who is benefiting from much of their legislation. You have Soros' railroads benefiting from stopping the Keystone pipeline, you have Gore that would have benefited from cap and trade, and the executives at GE that benefited by not having to pay corporate income taxes.

Tell us again how different your beloved democrats are.

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