Labor Unions Are A Godsend For The American Worker - And Response (3)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Reading Robin Smith's article castigating unions and giving examples of poor behavior on the part of a few, reminded me of what Jesus said, "why beholdest thou the mote that's in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that's in thine own eye."

Why were unions necessary in the first place?  Read, Making Steel and Killing Men by William Hard, written in the early 1900's.  It exposes the mayhem in the steel industry. 

"As many as 598 victims at the Illinois Steel Company alone in 1906.  For every man killed in an industrial accident in Germany, eight in the United States were killed or disabled."  Hard said, "the American Institute of Social Services reports that 536,165 are killed annually in Industry." 

A factory fire in New York in 1911 killed 146 workers; some were teenagers as young as 14.  There were no sprinklers, no audible alarms and the stairwells and exits were locked.  Many jumped to their deaths.  This created the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.

Further, just during the years of 1907-1909 there were 50 coal mine disasters resulting in 1,179 deaths.  Deaths were occurring in coal mines as early as 1869 with nothing being done.  Thank God for John L. Lewis.  And Edwin Markham exposed the "sacrifice of children in the glass factories, at the loom, in the mines, in the box factories and sweatshops."

Labor unions were and are a godsend for the American worker.  It's a shame a labor board was turned down at VW.  Steve Cohen rightfully said, "UAW and VW were  working to redefine American labor-management relations for the better."  Mark Wiedmer said it best, "Unions exist to begin with, because too often private enterprise has done the wrong thing by its employees and a nod to the almighty dollar."  Amen.

Wilbourne C. Markham Sr.

Walden 

* * * 

Mr. Markham Sr., 

With all due respect every example you cited was over 100 years ago.  Since that time there have been two world wars, the civil rights movement, 18 presidents in office and the creation of OSHA in 1971.  I guess my point is while unions were vital to creating safe work standards and practices 100 years ago the times have changed.   

Unions have destroyed internal communication lines between employees and employers over the last 30 years which is vital when it comes to having a teamwork atmosphere and a productive and safe work environment.  They have become immersed into politics while donating excessive amounts of union dues for political campaigning.  Take a trip to the UAW headquarters and stroll around Detroit to see what a city that is dependent upon the union has been turned into.    

Just remember, 100 years ago smoking was considered good for you but we as a society now know the detrimental side effects and what it can truly due to someone’s health.   The UAW is a cancer I would prefer to keep out of Chattanooga.  Once again, congrats to the VW workers and Chattanooga. 

Chris Morgan 

* * * 

Respectfully, Mr. Markham, I must disagree with your premise that Labor unions are a godsend, for anyone other than their thug leaders and the Democrats.  In each and every instance you’ve stated that unions did good things, the dates began in the early 1900’s, citing cases in 1906, 1911, 1907-09.  

I was born in 1951 and grew up in Detroit.  The “big 3”  and the steel mills and associated factories employed almost everyone I’ve ever known.  I agree that in the “old” days, prior to instant news and cell phone cameras, oversight was a necessity as abuse mainly went unreported.  However, since the 80’s, with TV’s in every household, and real “journalists” reporting real news, it became less likely employers would take a chance of abusing their employees.  

I actually knew some of those who worked for Jimmy Hoffa, way back in the day.  Let me tell you that unions have become nothing but blood sucking leeches on the backs of hard working Americans. The union (thugs) leaders ride their extravagant vehicles, have their mansions, bodyguards, yachts and contribute greatly to the Democrat party, who in turn do them favors.  This has been the cycle of the political and union relationship for the past 30-40 years.  Everyone knows this. In a free society, the worker accepts a job (position), salary or wages, benefits and then that employer, without all the hassle of union thugs, can employ more people.  You can watch on the news, union workers in Auburn Hills (not Detroit anymore- the Democrats ruined that city) went out to lunch, drank beer, smoked pot, and went back to build American vehicles.  And they didn’t even get in trouble.  And they are still working. 

As an old Detroiter, I’ve always been upset with those who didn’t buy American- but no more. Why buy a piece of junk built by drug addicts, and make the loud-mouth Chicago style thugs (union leaders) richer?  I promise you, Chattanooga workers made the right choice, even after being strong armed, by who? Oh yeah- the union. 

Moving here to Chattanooga in 1992 was so refreshing after living in the union stronghold of the Detroit area my entire life.  We don’t need or want to walk down that path.  Just take a look at Detroit today- it’s war torn and run by gangs. The ex-mayor in prison for- yes, corruption.  Don’t trust the unions. They are out for their own power and wealth and don’t care about you. I promise you that. 

It’s not over.  But until those of us who lived through it speak up, the unions will keep getting richer and having more power.  There was a time in history unions were good. But like everything else, corruption, greed and evil took over and now, runs this country. God bless us all. 

Debbie Davis-Peck 

* * * 

The fact that Wilbourne Markham has to go back 100 years to show the relevance of unions probably explains why the vaunted UAW has gone from 1.5 million members in 1979 to 390,000 today. Mr Markham must have missed the creation of OSHA in 1972 by a Republican President, rather surprising since that great friend of working people the Democrats, had controlled the White House for 28 of the 36 years before Nixon was elected. 

It is no coincidence that the UAW is headquartered in that great worker paradise of Detroit, the once prosperous city that the UAW and their Democrat allies they always support have turned into a replica of 1945 Berlin. And now after being bailed out by the U.S taxpayers what is the UAW doing, well they are raising their dues to build up a strike fund.  

I actually think the Works Council is a pretty good idea for VW, just as long as the job destroying monster the UAW isn't involved. Be involved UAW workers, just don't send your hard-earned money to beautiful downtown Detroit. 

Douglas Jones
Ooltewah


Former Assessor's Office Employees Supporting Sterling Jetton

I’m excited and proud to be among many former employees of the Assessor’s Office to endorse Sterling Jetton for Assessor of Property.  Knowing two of the candidates as well as I do, I wasn't surprised to see that former Assessor Claude Ramsey and current Assessor Bill Bennett chose to publicly endorse Sterling. Mr. Bennett referred to Sterling as the "Conscience of the Office." ... (click for more)

Forgetting Our Presidents' Birthdays

Surely I'm not the only one who noticed today's date this morning and immediately thought, "Hey, it's Abraham Lincoln's birthday!"  Honest Abe was born 207 years ago today--as was Charles Darwin.  When I was a kid in school, Feb. 12 was an annual and much anticipated holiday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, a no-school day, and we certainly knew and understood who it was ... (click for more)

Texas Man Charged With Cutting Hole In Charleston Piggly Wiggly; Removing Heavy Safe

Warrants charging a Texas man with the Jan. 25 burglary of the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store in Charleston, Tn., have been issued in Bradley County. Through a forensic examination of items that are connected to the burglary, Christopher Lee Chambers, 29, of Mabank, Tex., was identified as a suspect in the burglary and is named on warrants charging him with burglary and theft ... (click for more)

Couple In Small Plane Make Emergency Landing On Highway 27 North Of Dayton

Tom Webb and his fiancée were traveling from Pigeon Forge to Winchester when, at 5,500 feet, they experienced engine trouble. They lost their engine and had to make an emergency landing on Highway 27 north of Dayton. They landed safely and were able to push the plane off the road with help from the Rhea County Sheriff's Department. The incident happened around 7 p.m. on ... (click for more)

Red Bank Rolls To Region 2-A/AA Mat Title With Ease

Shane Turner has been waiting a long time for this year's wrestling season to get here. He took over the head coaching job at Red Bank four years ago and his Lions have taken their share of whippings during that time. Turner kept preaching to his kids to stay faithful to the program and to keep working hard and that eventually, good things would come their way. They're ... (click for more)

Bradley Wrestlers Win Region 4-AAA With 7 Champions

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – There was never much doubt about which team would walk away from the Region 4-AAA wrestling tournament with the most individual champs and the overall team title. The Bradley Bears, ranked second in the state all year, have had a great season to this point and it just got a little bit better early Saturday evening at Cleveland Middle School. By claiming ... (click for more)