Saturday's letters: Union's politics gets in the way

Published Sept. 8, 2017

American labor

Union's politics gets in the way

On Labor Day weekend, many Americans celebrated the contributions that unions like the United Auto Workers have made to the workplace. As a Ford hourly employee, I don't take these historic improvements for granted.

But in recent decades the UAW has used its power to pursue contract demands that benefit the union's bottom line — many times at the expense of workers. Not surprisingly, auto workers have often rejected the UAW's attempts at expansion. Most recently, workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi voted against UAW representation by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio.

A union still clinging to a business model from the 1950s, not to mention archaic contract demands, could be detrimental to both legacy and newer tech-driven automakers.

If the UAW would simply devote its members' dues to ensuring reasonable wage and working conditions rather than using them for political and personal ambitions, they might still have some value on a voluntary basis. However, there is no indication that UAW officials are willing to be reasonable and practical with their members' money.

Terry Bowman, Ypsilanti, Mich.

The writer is a 21-year Ford-UAW worker and the president of Union Conservatives Inc.

DACA's end confirmed | Sept. 6

What the Bible teaches

Our Bible records only one time when Jesus is asked how God judges us. He replies (Matthew 25) that we are judged on how well we take care of those most in need.

President Donald Trump tried his best to destroy health insurance for the poor, and yet fundamentalist Christians continued to support him.

Trump attacked the immigrants, certainly people in need, and yet the fundamentalist Christians continued to support him.

Trump has now attacked DACA and threatens to destroy the lives of 800,000 young people, and yet the fundamentalist Christians continue to support him.

So the question for those Christians is "Why?" and what is it about this major idea put forth by Jesus about caring for the needy, perhaps the most important words he ever spoke, that do you not understand?

And if your pastor does not acknowledge Matthew 25, perhaps you should not acknowledge him or her and go find a really Christian church.

George Scheitinger, Dunedin

It's up to Congress

President Donald Trump was correct in ending DACA. DACA was implemented by President Barack Obama with an executive order when he couldn't get an immigration law passed by Congress. He said it was temporary, and it was probably unconstitutional.

Most Americans believe that the Dreamers should be allowed to remain in this country, however only Congress can make laws and that is what Trump is telling them to do. The Dreamers should be pressuring Congress to act and do its job. Congress should take care of the Dreamers and separately address the many other immigration issues. If we allow presidents to make laws then we are on our way to living in a dictatorship.

Ronald Hall, Lutz

Cruelty cloaked in the law

As a lifelong pro-lifer, I view the revocation of DACA as a crime against life comparable to, but much more repugnant than abortion. Behind every abortion there is a human history, which deserves consideration and understanding. Behind this misguided presidential action there is only cruelty and sadism, cloaked in righteousness under the guise of "the rule of law."

President Donald Trump announced this decision in the middle of a national disaster that has inspired many examples of human solidarity, and in this way he thumbed his nose at the thousands of unselfish Americans who have made their time, treasure and life available to neighbors that they might have not even known, irrespective of immigration status.

Surely somebody will object to my outrage by claiming that the beneficiaries of DACA broke a law and consequently should pay the consequences of their action. They should think hard before they abdicate their responsibility to discern right from wrong, using the law as a pretense. Hannah Arendt coined the term "banality of evil" for the inclination to substitute the law for one's own sense of right and wrong as she chronicled the trial of Adolf Eichmann for war crimes in World War II. Eichmann did not feel responsible because "He did his duty. ... He not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law." We all know how that went.

Lodovico Balducci, Tampa

Hurricane Irma

Government at work

I hate to bring this subject up under the circumstances, but for all those who do not want "big government" and for private business to do what it does best, look around.

Do you see a Disney rescue team? A Walmart civil intervention team? Has any "big business" opened a shelter? What you see is the National Guard, the police officer, the firefighter.

Be safe out there.

Al Green, St. Petersburg

When the rich said no to more riches | Sept. 6, commentary

Lust for power and money

I found this article very enlightening and refreshing, especially in these times of seemingly insatiable lust for power and money. While the Republicans don't hold a monopoly on greed, the current leadership of the party seems relentless in their pursuit of domination. Ego has replaced humility, and cruelty and ignorance have shoved aside empathy. It is a sad state of affairs.

Jim Ahearn, Clearwater