December 2010

Letters to the Editor
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Dim Trade Policies?

I purchased and installed a 40-watt light bulb and it malfunctioned. I called the company about the guarantee, asked why their light bulbs are produced in Vietnam. I was informed that there are no light bulbs manufactured in the U.S.A. anymore. Is this the type of reward America received for the loss of 58,000 American lives in Vietnam? So an American corporation can now manufacture light bulbs in Vietnam and sell their product for a 400 percent profit? Yes, you can be sure, if it is Westinghouse.

The CEO of Westinghouse should be made to go to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and read and count every name carved into the granite wall of those brave American soldiers.

My fellow Americans I must admit I am still in the dark. Why do the citizens of this great nation tolerate these runaway corporations?

Warren A. Jennings
Chicago Local 134 retiree

Our Communist Creditors

In the 1950s and 1960s, there was fear the Communists might be among us. Then came the Iraq war, which was paid for with the Chinese credit card. Now, since the jobs continue to be outsourced to China and we all purchase their products, they have most of the money and now it is necessary that we as a country borrow it.

The fears of the '50s and '60s are upon us, and it appears we may have lost the battle. So it remains, dictatorships are wrong for everyone, even if we have to smile and borrow money from them.

We always thought Communism was the threat to America. Well, maybe we were right.

H.C. McGarity Jr.
Local 20 retiree, Dallas, Texas

Standing Strong

This photo of Mr. Bill Donius, St. Louis Local 1 member, stands in front of the sign he made and placed on my garage for all to see. It faces a very busy street and will be seen by hundreds of people each day.

As you know, the carpenters union has been trying to break IBEW Local 1 by offering their version of an electrical workers union offering less training, less pay, less everything.

Bill's been a member of Local 1 for more than 40 years. He has two sons: Bill, a journeyman, and Jimmy, an apprentice. God Bless Local 1 and the unions of our great country!

Regina Hollrah
St. Charles, Mo.

St. Louis Local 1 member Bill Donius
Paying Our Dues

I was very disappointed and frustrated to learn that amongst almost 10 percent unemployment (even more so for union construction workers) that our dues would be increasing starting Jan. 1, 2011.

I understand the importance of paying dues, even in times of trouble. However increasing our dues when a good portion of us have been unemployed or underemployed for the better part of two years now, just seems heartless.

It is a tough world out here, as you can see from the jobs board. The last thing we need is this increase in dues, when most of us are struggling with the bills we already have.

I appreciate all that the IBEW has done for me for the past 10 years, but this increase has rubbed me the wrong way.

Thank you for your time. I am still a loyal union member.

Edward Drapeau
Washington, D.C., Local 26 member

[Editor's note: The Jan. 1 dues increase is part of a long-term growth strategy that was approved by IBEW delegates at the 2006 Convention.]