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Published: Wednesday, 12/26/2012

Mich. law takes aim at unions

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Republicans in the Michigan Legislature should speak the truth about the new right-to-work law (“Mich. governor signs ‘right-to-work’ law; Thousands of protesters swarm Capitol,” Dec. 12). It weakens unions and adversely affects wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Because I have been active in several unions, I know that union representation is usually established in an election. The union then has the obligation to represent all workers.

Representation requires resources that involve significant costs. It is not unreasonable that all workers who benefit from representation should be required to share the cost.

If workers are unhappy, another election can be held to end union representation. In these elections, as in those we as citizens participate in, the majority rules.

Do the Michigan Legislature and governor not understand how the democratic process works? Would they support the right of citizens to opt out of paying taxes because they were dissatisfied with candidates who were elected, or would they expect voters to try again in the next election?

JOHN DURBACK

Sylvania

 

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‘Shameful’ now; how about in ’09?

The description of the right-to-work bill in your Dec. 11 editorial “Gov. Snyder’s betrayal” used such terms as “appalling,” “shameful,” and “undemocratic.”

Did you use those terms in 2009 when a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress rammed through your beloved Obamacare without giving Republican members of Congress a chance to modify the legislation?

GREG AUBELL

Waterville

 

Krauthammer gets unions wrong

I got the impression from Charles Krauthammer’s Dec. 16 op-ed column, “Michigan and the right-to-work dilemma,” that he longs for the good old days of robber barons, 16-hour workdays, and 25-cent hourly wages — take it or leave it.

I suppose we of the working class should be thankful that we have a job, regardless of whether we can survive on it, much less prosper.

I found it interesting that what Mr. Krauthammer calls “a simple accommodation to reality” doesn’t address the abyss that separates the working wage from the executive pay package. But to the conservative mind, the executive pay package is always deserved, while the working wage isn’t.

Conservatives never seem to be able to wrap their minds around the concept that, for the most part, those who create jobs and executives who manage jobs don’t do the work. And without those to do the work, there is no business, no executive pay package, and no profits.

Contrary to what Mr. Krauthammer seems to believe, it is a race to the bottom, not a new equilibrium, when the object is not to lift the wages and benefits of others up, but to take away wages and benefits that some have.

But I guess the hypocrisy of being for free-market forces for business but not for labor eludes him.

RON BORES

Fostoria

 

Right-to-work needed in Ohio

We need right-to-work legislation in Ohio. How can lawmakers get this done in Michigan, of all places, and not here?

JOHN JETT

Scottwood Avenue



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