Lettters to the Editor
Thank you very much for the surprise of opening the paper and seeing my dad and sister in “Blast from the Past”. Both my father, Lindsley Frenette and my sister Lynne Batchelder gave with all their hearts to their family and their communities. The first I remember knowing what a gift giving was happened in a ride with my parents as they delivered packages in the dark of the night and left them on children’s porches that otherwise would have woken up to very little if anything on Christmas morning. What a present that was to a little girl sitting in the backseat to witness. As we prepare to over indulge this holiday season may we remember the true meaning of this season. Merry Christmas and again, thank you for the beautiful memory you shared in your paper. It was a gift to my entire family.
Vicki Frenette Parker
A “Right to Work” law has been passed in Michigan. It was passed without public input and rushed through the legislature and signed by our governor. This obviously has been planned for quite some time, and the powers that be were waiting for the right moment to make their move. It will be challenged of course, and I hope it can be overturned. But, for now, it is a reality. I view this as a failure for unions. What we have failed at is to educate people on what unions are all about. We have failed to teach the history of why unions were born and what they achieved. We have failed in that we have allowed the stereotype to persist that unions are full of mafia type bosses and thugs. We need to go back to grassroots and begin the education process. This law really is not about your right to work, it is about power. It is about weakening the process of collective bargaining which means less for workers and more for big business owners and corporations. It is about the agenda of right wing conservatives, who receive the support of big business and corporations, to consolidate power so they can further that agenda. In some aspects the whole thing has become a sort of “competition” that promotes an “us against them” mentality, with the result that the rich will get richer and the middle class will decline. I have made this statement to anyone that will listen. There can be only one reason to weaken unions or try to eliminate them entirely. I repeat only one reason! That reason is to be able to be able to unilaterally give less to workers in the form of benefits, wages and workplace safety in the name of profits. The result of this, however, is that the very same workers will have less buying power, and it is that spending that ultimately drives our economy. In essence the very businesses that want to see unions gone will suffer as wages decline and the cost of benefits are transferred to the worker. They simply will have less to spend. Not only that, with the demise of pensions in the workplace, they are now having to invest in risky investment plans to aid in retirement planning, taking even more money out of the economy. It is a downward spiral. We need to get back to basics, educate young people, educate our own union members and address the real problems that are causing our economy to suffer and that is not unions. Henry Weber
Michigan is now a “Labor Freedom” state where unions will continue to be constitutionally protected to be free to “make their case”, protected by state law, will have the freedom to “make their choice”. Unions have been given an opportunity to demonstrate their value to the workers they seek to represent. Rather than taking an employee’s dues for granted, unions must now compete for those dues by demonstrating their value proposition. This very opportunity if the unions choose to embrace will make them stronger and more accountable – and that’s good for workers, and unions.
The ability for unions to “collectively bargain” will remain an important tool when done holistically – in concert with the best interest of workers, their employers and markets they choose to serve. The “Workplace Equity and Fairness Act” empowers Michiganders to be able to have the dignity and the freedom to decide which organizations they want to associate with and which organizations they don’t want to associate with – and not make it a condition of their employment. Labor freedom states, on average have a much lower unemployment and increased opportunities than union stronghold states.
The data shows a compelling argument for giving workers a choice, much evidence concludes people are leaving Michigan because they can’t find work. Many of our schools are losing school enrollment each year, thus propelling school districts into red ink spending and decline. Statistics support the most disturbing trend that our biggest export has become our kids, while Michigan’s working class continues to diminish. By an almost three to one margin people are moving to states where workers are not forced to join a union or pay union fees. For the unemployed the decline of jobs is undeniable, for cities like Detroit on the brink of bankruptcy we are not only watching a disturbing decline, but we are watching the increasing loss of income, population and dignity.
Why do the Democrats oppose the “Workplace Equity and Fairness Act”? Their voice isn’t about workingmen’s wages, its all about campaign coffers. Furthermore, the irony with those who oppose labor freedom and claim it encourages “free loaders”, yet these are the same individuals who vote for a party whose mantra is “spread the wealth” and “pay your fair share” towards entitlements mostly used by those who can’t find work and who don’t pay into a stressed system via income tax. The Democratic Party claims it’s the party of choice, most notably when it comes to abortion issues saying it’s the mother’s choice. But are they truly “pro-choice” when it comes to workers choice to join a union or not to fund union political advocacy groups?
Schoolcraft County Republican