Letters to the editor

August 15, 1997

UPS workers drive feelings of ill-will

To the editor:

Oftentimes I feel like saying something publicly and bite my tongue; however this time I feel that something needs to be said.

The topic is the UPS (United Parcel Service) strike, and what it is doing to their image. It is not the image of the company itself that is getting hurt, but the image of the workers who are being manipulated by the Teamsters union. Unions over the years have become a counter-productive, greedy and nearly useless instrument in this society.

I am sure that I will receive a lot of flack by saying that a delivery truck driver is a no-brainer job. It really takes no skill at all to drive a vehicle and locate an address. The main requirement here is to do the job you are being paid for, do it safely and do it on time. This is not a high-level job skill, but rather a simple requirement that can be accomplished by any person possessing fundamental skills, a good self-esteem and solid moral character.


There is no way that any local delivery driver is worth the salary and benefit package that the Teamsters are demanding. I am sorry if I offend certain workers in this area, but if you want to be rich, go to college and get a degree in medicine, law or engineering.

The really sad part here as mentioned before is the people who are getting the black eye are the people we see every day, the drivers of the friendly brown trucks. Everyone I know loves to see the UPS truck pull up in front of their house. But here lately that general attitude is rapidly changing.

I was involved in a conversation at Carlisle, Pa., during a very large car show and virtually everyone there said the same things.

The teamsters are greedy, the drivers are no better - that UPS has lots of competition out there and when the strike is over most of these small businesses are going to switch their bulk mailings to FedEx and to Roadway Package Service. I am not making this up. I was there when these things were said. So as in the past, the drivers at UPS might get what they want, but in the long run it is going to cost them jobs and income because they have alienated their paying customers.

History shows that the unions (United Auto Workers, for one) have cost their members jobs by being greedy. The thing is this - nobody out here making $4.50 to $10 per hour feels any sympathy for workers who are making two to three times what they are and claim it is not enough. And these wage earners are the bulk of the average citizens in this area, not the $15-20 per hour wage earners.

So when the strike is over, whether you were a union or non-union driver, if you get a cold reception, you will know why. I am speaking for a lot of very frustrated individuals who you have caused a lot of problems. Why, then, should you be rewarded by our continued business?

Chris Breeze

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Slow down

To the editor:

This letter is a reply to the one published in The Herald-Mail Aug. 3, from a frustrated young man of 37 years who's guilty of a driving problem on the road. I would like to express my view in opposition.

Please let us not point a finger at the "little old gray-haired lady" who drives 20-25 miles per hour in a 45 mile zone or the "mature bald gentleman" cruising slowly on Interstate 70 in the big Buick. Let us all share some of the blame for problem driving today. Both young and mature need to respect the rights of others on the roadways. We need to slow down, become patient and obey the laws.

But then, Mr. 37 years, in my opinion, your thinking on this matter is representative of many of your generation, today. How did the rest of us ever survive until your age group arrived on the scene? So many drivers are rude, impatient, ill-tempered and have not found the word respect in their vocabulary.

Well sorry, here is one "mature" driver who is not getting off the road for you. I don't need a drivers test annually to prove that I can still drive safely and cautiously, as I have done for many years. But in your opinion, I am the exception rather than the rule as a mature driver. Give me a break!

As I see it, the problem in driving is not determined primarily by a driver's age, hair color, reflex-action etc., but more likely with excessive speed, bad temper, impatience at the wheel in a hurry and determined to push the rest of us off the road.

Nancy Needy

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Road smoke

To the editor:

In yesterday's Herald-Mail there was a block ad "Cigarette Prices Too High" which goes on to indicate that 30 miles south of Hagerstown by driving a little you save a lot by buying cigarettes in another state.

Smoking is much more in retreat with more places off-limits to smokers.

In addition, people are more casual about how they look or what they wear outside their residences. People litter more - anything they can get rid of which they don't want. In addition, they toss away food and drinks that could in some cases less fortunate people could use. Drivers are taking advantage of offers on the road to gain a few minutes or so.

William G. Rees


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