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Reader's view: Anti-union article was a scurrilous piece of trash

I enjoy the News Tribune and read it every day, even if I do not agree with its editorial stands on many issues. But I never read an article so full of misconceptions and lies about labor unions as the Sept. 4 opinion article by Nathan Jamail, ti...

I enjoy the News Tribune and read it every day, even if I do not agree with its editorial stands on many issues. But I never read an article so full of misconceptions and lies about labor unions as the Sept. 4 opinion article by Nathan Jamail, titled, "A Labor Day Weekend debate: Are unions evil?" It was nothing more than a scurrilous piece of trash.

I suppose the newspaper justified publishing an anti-union article on Labor Day as an alternative viewpoint, noteworthy to be sure. Maybe on Sept. 11 it will publish an article regaling us about the al-Qaeda heroes of Sept. 11.

I have been a member of three unions in my life: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees as a state employee; the United Steelworkers as an iron ore miner; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers as an electrician. None of these unions would protect lazy, nonproductive employees. I do not know of a union that would.

Modern unions are created to collectively bargain for wages and benefits, prevent discrimination on the job and in hiring, and to have a voice to talk about safety and working conditions -- not to retain lazy, unproductive workers.

In the United States of America and in most of the industrialized world, workers unionize. All of our greatest competitors are unionized; China is beginning to unionize. "A fair day's work for a fair day's pay." That is heard worldwide.

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I sell my labor, as do doctors, lawyers and businessmen. As a middle-class worker, I spread my money around and it does a lot of work. If I were a millionaire I would put most of it in a bank, and probably not an American bank either. Money does not trickle down -- but it sure seems to trickle up to the wealthy quite fast.

Bryce Makela

Duluth

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