Re: “Honor workers, not union system,” letter, Sept. 7.
Z. David Deloach’s letter reminded me that he and I have much in common: both our fathers were union men who wanted their children to get an education and for them to have a better life than they had.
I’m of the opinion that most all parents, regardless of whether or not they are in a union, want their children to have a better life than they did.
Deloach wrote that his father, a conductor on the railroad, was frustrated with a system of favoritism and seniority in which he felt he couldn’t advance as fast as he would have liked.
Union or not, Deloach’s father wouldn’t be the first person to ever think that he wasn’t climbing the job ladder fast enough because of favoritism or a seniority system.
Looking at Deloach’s letter as a whole, his father working under the protection of a collective bargaining agreement — and let me add a very good collective bargaining agreement — was able to provide his family the security of a good income.
If one throws in the defined pension plan and medical benefits, Deloach’s father had a great job by any middle-class standard. The elder Deloach invested his money in company stock; his son went to college and is living a better life than he did.
Deloach’s father achieved all that while working under a union contract.
Mission accomplished; collective bargaining worked as advertised in Deloach’s case.
For a family that has done so well while working under the protection of a collective bargaining agreement, I am confused why Deloach or his father would have such anger against unions.
I guess some folks forget from where they came.
My final point is that Deloach seems to think that Labor Day should only honor workers of the past.
I think workers of the past as well as workers today should be honored, whether they are in a union or not.
Let us not forget it was union activists who got the benefits that all workers enjoy, even Deloach and his father.
I say let us honor those who took beatings or lost their lives fighting to be able to join a union, providing benefits a lot of people take for granted, such as the 40-hour work week along with safety, health and child-labor laws or as the right wing calls such benefits, unneeded regulations.
Those same benefits are under attack by members of both political parties as we live and breathe today. The company store is about to reopen, and both political parties will be to blame.
Michael D. Day
union pipe fitter