Unions have been in the news recently regarding the Steel Workers of America going on strike in our area. The one thing that all of those newspaper stories fail to tell you is the amount of money in question. You don’t hear that all of the workers are already very well paid. Also, you are not told that if they go on strike, the unions will supplement their pay while on strike. The workers will also be advised to go and collect unemployment while on strike. As for the picket line, each worker is required to do at least four hours of picket duty while the strike is in progress.

How do I know? This is what happened to me while working for the Steel Workers of America back in the ’70s. When I went on strike everyone was already being paid decent wages at the time. It’s just the unions wanted us to get more.

To people who think unions are good, I say yes, unions were good years ago when they were really needed, but today unions have outlived their intended purpose. That is to watch out for the workers’ safety and wellbeing. Today, workers really don’t need unions as they did years ago.

When I worked for the union, all you were was a number. The only way to get ahead on the job was that the person in front of you with a lower number died or quit. It didn’t matter if you had a college degree or were a better worker. That person in front of you could have a third-grade education, and if a job came up he would get the job first because that person outranked you.

And what about those dues you have to pay. Those dues will go straight to the Democratic Party, regardless of your personal beliefs. You have no say so in this matter.

Those unions now on strike on the West Coast hurt a lot of people. However, unions don’t care. They will use any excuse such as safety or whatever to hurt the economy. People need to wake up. Unions were needed in the past, but not as much today. Unions may help somewhat today, but when company employees already make above the average, there is no need to hurt the overall economy to boost above-average income to higher levels. The same goes for company benefits. Why strike for more when you already get more than the average worker? But newspapers don’t tell you this.

Now there is a union that works wonders. It’s the teachers union. The union really helps to keep incompetent teachers. We all know that you just can’t get rid of bad teachers. Unions will protect them.

As for those die-hard people who think unions are the greatest thing ever, you need to know the truth. Unions are not that great in today’s society. They once were; however, in our modern society, they are not that great any more.

Gary Leitz

retired office worker

Slidell