September 2011

Letters to the Editor
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Are You With Us?

The corporate friendly politicians continue to bulldoze over American workers of the middle and lower class. They continue to show they have NO respect for anyone who cannot afford to be one of their rich neighbor$. Laws and rules are ignored or changed to favor the wealthiest and the heck with the poor, the weak, the less fortunate. It appears we are just in their way.

Remember the previous administration's reckless, could-care-less-about-you words (in regard to the invasion of Iraq): "You are either with us or against us!" That slogan seems to be the headline of their agenda. We need to stop falling prey to their fear tactics and lies. We the people need to ask ourselves WHO really is AGAINST us and who honestly is for you and I, for Medicare, Medicaid, food and medical programs for everyone in need. Who is more concerned about cutting back or completely cutting out these programs and wants to give the wealthy more wealth?

We must remember it is the big corporations that have the power to create jobs, to put us Americans back to work, but choose to give CEO's big bonuses instead. Remember, we still have the right to vote, which just happens to be another area corporate friendly politicians are attacking us on. I believe it is time to seriously think about the best interests of families and their future, not one-issue agendas. I don't believe in abortion or taking away the right to bear arms and those agendas continue to sway voters. Neither of those issues have been changed by Democrats or Republicans and my guess is never will be. Thank you for taking the time to understand the direction, motivations and intentions of both parties. We need to ask ourselves: Which one is self-serving and which one is about family?

Kevin J. Peterson
Local 160 member, Minneapolis

Valuing Our Elders

It has come to my attention there are certain local unions that are not giving the help and respect that is due their retirees. This should never be part of any IBEW local union agenda.

This has never been the case with my local, Local 611 in Albuquerque, N.M., which has always gone beyond the call to support the retirees in the best possible way, both physically and financially when needed. In fact, our retirees are invited to represent the local in various functions and events, and some of the officers have volunteered their services to help build our retirees float for the Fourth of July parade.

We should never forget the knowledge and experience our retirees have contributed to the working class. We retirees at Local 611 want to say thank you to Local 611 union officers for their continued support, appreciation and understanding of our needs.

Tracy Hall
Local 611 retiree, Albuquerque, N.M.

Political Sacrifices?

I am writing in response to the recent budget crisis and the lack of attention given it by the IBEW. I feel the way to resolve the problem is everybody should give. It should start with our elected officials. They need to reduce their pay by 25 percent. They need to reduce their staffs by 50 percent and we need to reduce their benefits. Let them have Medicaid and Medicare for their insurance. They can be responsible for paying the cost of supplemental insurance like we do. Retired officials can take a pay cut too. Let's get rid of all the fringe benefits.

If they want to cut our benefits and income and protect the billionaires in this country, then they need to give too.

Does IBEW have the courage to stand up and let this be known? Will IBEW bring this to the attention of our members and the public by using paid advertising to get the word out? I feel 85 percent of the people feel this way and are ready for somebody to make this suggestion. This would strengthen our union and increase our membership.

I have been an IBEW member since 1963. The way things used to be done in our union was with a kick-butt attitude and a strong resolve to get things accomplished. Our politicians need to know that unions are still strong in this country and they represent the working class. Our voice needs to be heard so these bums can remember who they work for.

Lennoth Greenwood
Local 2 member, St. Louis