The Electrical Worker online
December 2012

Letters to the Editor
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A Diversity of Views

I am new to the IBEW, having joined Local 103 through my job at ADT last year. One thing I am surprised at is how many members of our union are Republicans. The GOP has managed to weaken the middle class starting with Reagan by dividing us on social issues and causing some to vote against their own economic interests. I don't agree with everything the Democrats stand for, but I choose to vote with my wallet as my guide. Thank you for all that you in the IBEW do to help us.

Bob Walton, Local 103 member

Politics and the Working Class

It would seem that ignorance knows no social, political or geographic boundaries.

Working class people who support governments that exist primarily to further the interests of the wealthy elite are ignorant.

The wealthy elite and those choosing to carry out their bidding who fail to offer working class people their dignity and respect due them are ignorant.

Governments worldwide that continue to lavish more benefits upon the wealthy elite to the detriment of working class people are ignorant.

Working class people need elected representatives who will support working class people.

Paul C. Wickwire, Local 424 member
Edmonton, Alberta

No More Scott Walkers, Please

ITo Steve Nelson of Salt Lake City Local 57 (October 2012 Letters to the Editor), I certainly hope your kids or grandkids can attend private school so they don't have to be taught by those public sector union teachers that want decent wages and working conditions like you. I hope you never have to have one of those public sector union firemen come to your burning house—or one of those public sector union policemen. They don't need decent wages and working conditions like you do. Just because they work for some leg of the government doesn't mean they don't need the same type of protections that your union provides you.

You have no clue about what happened in Wisconsin. Yes there were some out-of-state union hooligans present—Ed Hill marched around the Capitol right beside me. There were SOME out-of-state union members that came to show their support. Illinois was represented—some Local 58 brothers were there from Detroit—there was a handful from California, Nebraska and Iowa. They weren't shipped in, but came to show their support for union brothers and sisters. A big THANK YOU for them coming to support us.

Let me give you some facts. The protest wasn't only about collective bargaining: it was about taking people off Badgercare and taking money meant for public schools and giving it to private schools, among many other things. It was a peaceful protest, as the biggest troublemakers were the tea party—not as a whole, but a small group. The numbers you heard—10,000 - 50,000—100,000 were light. That was the number at the Capitol square at one time. There was a steady stream of people leaving, with just as many coming to take their place. Over 90 percent were from Wisconsin—pastors from churches—small business owners, nonunion workers and medical staff were there with the union members because they felt it was wrong what our governor and legislature were pulling. Some people's wages were cut by 30 percent and you think that is OK?

You won't understand this statement, but belonging to the union doesn't make you a good brother or sister. It takes more than that.

Tim Coger, Local 159 member
Madison, Wis.

… and Now, a Word from Our Sponsors

I was very surprised watching football when an IBEW commercial appeared. Then another. It made me more proud seeing our IBEW logo on national TV. Keep up the great work. The commercial was beautiful!

William Fadgyas, Local 420 member
Waterbury, Conn.