March 2010

Letters to the Editor
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Another Republican Roadblock?

I was glad to see International Secretary-Treasurer Lindell Lee write about President Obama's excellent selection of Ms. Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary. It is good for all workers, union and nonunion alike, to have someone of her background and caliber. Solis understands that OSHA regulations are meant to protect workers on the job from the many hazards inherent on the jobsites across the country.

Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have recently succeeded in blocking the nomination of Craig Becker, President Barack Obama's choice for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board. This nomination has been held up with the assistance of two Democrats (Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas) because they say Becker would push an aggressive union agenda at the agency that referees labor disputes between unions and management. I say it's about time that the NLRB has someone who is not intent on tearing down our ability to fairly negotiate working agreements. Please let your senators know that it is time to let this nomination stand and be approved.

Larry Meads
Local 500 member, San Antonio, Texas

What's Wrong With America

OK, so the banking system has been saved from collapse and houses are beginning to sell again, but the catch phrase "jobless recovery" is nothing more than spin. Let us be honest, a jobless recovery is no recovery at all. Wall Street, outsourcing and downsizing created this mess with the help of creative finance (read that "deregulation"). So who benefits the most from the troubled asset relief program, TARP? The very same perpetrators.

The root cause of our economic woes is greed. The robber baron is alive and well in the current economy. The recent payback of TARP funds was motivated by the need for the affluent to escape the limitations of the pay and bonus requirements that are part of accepting the government bailout money.

We need to demand real economic recovery for all.

Mike Schweiger
Local 347 member, Des Moines, Iowa

The problem with America is greed. It runs in big business, Wall Street, our government and the American people. Our government and big business can't figure out how to get our economy jumpstarted with 10 percent unemployment. It's so simple: bring those factories in China, India, Mexico and other countries back into the U.S.A. and we will have jobs, taxes, Social Security, welfare, Medicare and money to spend.

Big business and Wall Street want cheaper labor for higher returns of investment. No jobs in America means we buy just the basic needs. It's biting big business right back. You can't buy anything if you don't have a job.

Our government is greedy because all they know is to borrow and spend. Not to live within their means. Keep the jobs, the factories and the money in the U.S.A.. Pay those overseas the same wage the American people get. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What this country needs is a return to God, but its master is greed.

George O. Curry
Local 126 member, Philadelphia

Anyone Remember ‘Rattler?'

I am a member of L.U. 508, Savannah, Ga., who retired in June 1983. I also worked for a number of years out of Local 613 in Atlanta. I turned 92 on March 10. I think I am the oldest retiree in the Fifth District. I look forward to your newspaper each month.

I'm hoping one of my old working buddies will read this and contact me. They used to call me "Rattler." My phone number is 702-982-7044.

Charles Kessler
Local 508 retiree, Savannah, Georgia