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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 21, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Strikes and worker rights

Workers’ best weapon to keep local jobs

Editor, The Times:

Your editorial [“Strike won’t fly at Boeing,” Opinion, editorial, June 19] suggests the unions at Boeing should give up the only economic weapon, the weapon of last resort, in order to ensure that jobs stay here in Puget Sound.

They can give it up, but it will in no way ensure that the jobs stay here. You fail to recognize that a strike is harder on the union members than it is on the company, that some past strikes have been precipitated by the company for the company’s advantage.

I will give up my right to strike when corporate executives tie my total compensation to theirs. When I take a cut in wages and benefits, their compensation is reduced by an equal percentage. When they get a bonus I get a bonus. I want to see Boeing succeed, but not at my expense and certainly not by giving executives millions of dollars from people who are making five-figure incomes.

— Rob Snyder, Seattle

Employee Free Choice Act will restore middle class

We need secure jobs, health and retirement benefits and fair wages. Whatever else we do to help the economy, it won’t result in broadly shared, lasting prosperity unless we also restore workers’ freedom to bargain with their employers for a better life by enacting the Employee Free Choice Act.

In these perilous economic times, we must restore workers’ freedom to bargain for secure jobs, health care and retirement benefits as well as fair pay. It’s time to rebuild the middle class and help struggling working families. The Employee Free Choice Act will restore that freedom and help us rebuild the middle class.

We need the Employee Free Choice Act because the current system for forming unions and bargaining is broken beyond repair.

Corporations routinely harass, intimidate, coerce and fire workers just because they want the freedom to bargain for a better life — and even if companies get caught, they get little more than a slap on the wrist. This is counter to the intent of U.S. laws and must be changed.

Every day, corporations harass, intimidate or fire working people who try to form unions so they can bargain for a better life. Even when workers form a union, more than 40 percent of the time they can’t get contracts. Penalties for companies that break the law are so minimal that they’re just a cost of doing business.

We must restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.

— Tanya Stock, Seattle

Comments | More in Boeing, Unions

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