The Electrical Worker online
July 2013

Letters to the Editor
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Union = Opportunity for All

One hot button issue now is women's rights to equal pay for equal work. This is what trade unions are all about. Anyone who qualifies to carry a union ticket receives the same pay for the same work, regardless of gender.

If you want your daughters to live with fairness in pay for work, encourage them to join a union. It's where opportunity is truly available to all.

All of our local unions have some multi-generational members with two, three and four or more generations taking part in the union way of life. These days, that includes the ladies as well.

If equal pay for equal work is a vital part of your personal desire for a career, then union membership is for you. It is a surety that you will not get it in the corporate world.

Reggie Marselus, Local 124 retiree
Kansas City, Mo.

The Underground Economy

After reading the May article "Labor, Lawmakers Take on Payroll Fraud," I became painfully aware of how deeply entrenched right-to-work supporters and conservatives are in Texas. Undocumented immigrants constitute a major problem in many states and, as was pointed out, the politicians only care to address this problem when tax revenues are falling short, due to the fraud perpetrated by these employers. Of course by the time the shortfalls and causes are revealed, it is too far gone. I guess stiffer fines and penalties could be imposed on the perpetrators, but they and their cronies will be crying "too much government intervention" to their conservative legislators. Every day this situation continues, we as a nation become closer to a third world country. Judging by the information presented in this article, it already has happened in Texas. Good luck in Texas, brothers!

Doug Szabo, Local 68 retiree
Denver, Colo.

Means of Production

Why don't we control the product that is our livelihood? I've worked on a number of coal, nuclear and gas-fired power plants. Coal is dirty, many of the nuclear plants are getting old and most of the gas plants are peaking plants.

I started in the electrical trade at Local 494 in Milwaukee, Wis. I have now retired and live in Pahrump, Nev. There is a lot of available land in southern Nevada that could be used for solar power plants, including the 10,000-square-mile nuclear test site.

Southern Nevada could serve 40 million people in California, 12 million in Arizona and 2 million in Las Vegas. Union members could build, own and operate and invest in the plants. We seem to depend on others for our livelihood and let them make the money off our labor. Why can't we control our own future?

Gerald Schmitt, Local 494 retiree
Pahrump, Nev.