NLRB is simply upholding the law
In a June 24 editorial, "NLRB abuses authority," The News claimed that the National Labor Relations Board says Boeing can build a factory in China but not in South Carolina. It clearly insinuates that the NLRB is acting in an unpatriotic manner and penalizing Boeing for creating much-needed American jobs. In fact, the NLRB merely is performing its statutory duty to uphold the law.
Under the National Labor Relations Act, it is unlawful for employers to make coercive statements or take retaliatory actions against union workers for engaging in collective action. The union complaint against Boeing is supported by public statements made by company officials that appear to support charges that they violated these provisions of the law.
In fact, a Boeing official interviewed by the Seattle Times said, "The overriding factor was not the business climate. And it was not the wages we're paying today. It was that we cannot afford to have a work stoppage, you know, every three years." In its response to the complaint, Boeing denies the allegations but admits that the referenced news reports were published. Is the company challenging the integrity of the press?
The News argues that workers have a right to strike, but not to avoid the consequences of striking. Surely it does not mean by this that workers must accept illegal responses to lawful strikes. If indeed Boeing transferred production in reprisal for workers exercising their protected rights, the company acted in violation of the law. In investigating this legitimate dispute, the NLRB is doing its patriotic duty in upholding the law.
Stop taking shots at organized labor
The increasingly anti-union slant of The News has become totally ridiculous. I have become accustomed to opening the morning paper with bated breath to see what The News will blame organized labor for next. Just like a kid cranking the handle of a jack-in-the-box, I am almost always going to find something jump out at me.
On June 25, the editorial board made the ludicrous statement that President Obama has "let the economic pendulum swing too far in favor of unions." This statement is absurd, as anyone employed in the field knows. This was followed up by a June 27 letter in Everybody's Column in which a disgruntled worker who was laid off by Teamsters Local 264 complained about losing her job and aimed to discredit the newly elected administration. Would The News print such a letter had the writer been laid off from a bank, factory or fast-food joint? Of course not. This was just another attempt to discredit organized labor.
M. Scott Chismar
Teamsters Local 264, Director of Organizing, Lake View
CEOs are to blame for economic woes
Computers, televisions, kitchen appliances, air conditioners, sneakers and underwear are all made someplace else. Look around you; it's no wonder the U.S. economy is in the tank. CEOs are making record profits while banks are playing shell games with our money. Meanwhile, we have a government and populace that do nothing about it. What are we waiting for? We need to fix the system ourselves.
Don't count on politicians to take the money out of politics. They're either millionaires themselves or they owe a millionaire a favor for a large campaign donation. It's time to pester your representatives and remind them who they are supposed to be representing. And buy American. Demand an American-made option for all goods, and when one is not offered, contact the person in charge of purchasing or corporate headquarters and demand it again.
It's insane that CEOs make 300 times more than their employees, who get outsourced as soon as the overpaid CEO can find a sweat shop somewhere else. I'm disgusted with corporations that outsource jobs in order to avoid environmental and labor regulations. The CEOs for those corporations belong in prison because they prey on the less fortunate while they claim to offer opportunity, with no regard for the wreckage they leave in their wake.
Robert T. Farmer
Let's treat everyone with dignity, respect
As bishop of the Episcopal Church in Western New York, I believe that same-sex couples who seek to pledge themselves to one another before the state and God have the right to have that commitment fully honored in civil matters and blessed by the church. I am mindful of Paul's words to the Galatians, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ."
I believe the Holy Spirit is calling us now to come to a more complete understanding of God's love for all of creation. Our theological understanding of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus has expanded throughout human history, most recently with regard to segregation and the rights of women.
My long experience as a professor of church history taught me that whenever theological thought takes a step in a new direction, there is division. We are living in such a time. And so, while some are thankful that New York State has legalized gay marriage, others are experiencing pain and anger. Not all people in our society, not all people who attend church, not all Episcopalians, feel exactly the same way about gay marriage.
Yet throughout history God has always given us all the way forward. That way is for each of us to respect fully the dignity and rights of all other human beings, and to live and work and worship side by side without rancor, confident that God's plans for us will be realized.
Rt. Rev. R. William Franklin
Our middle class is rapidly evaporating
Jim Cramer, financial guru and host of CNBC's "Mad Money," has given us his top stock picks for "a vanishing middle class." He calls this time we live in "an increasingly Dickensian era." He advises what stocks to buy as the rich spend more and the rest of us pinch pennies. He admits this is a disturbing trend, but it's his job to instruct people on how to make money. He also stated that the United States is not like the fast-growing countries of Brazil, China or India, where the middle classes are growing. Our middle class is evaporating.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Cramer's reference to "A Tale of Two Cities" is revealing. Is this downward spiral we're in beyond our control to reverse? How bad are things going to get for working people before they get better? Are we in the midst of an actual structural change in our economy, in our society? Since it's obvious we haven't learned from history, are we doomed to repeat it?