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Letters to the Editor

April 23, 1999

Delegates let working people down

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to express my indignation with the way our elected state delegates are representing us. The Delegates I am referring to are Chris Shank, Robert McKee, Joseph Bartlett, and Louise Snodgrass. The issue I am referring to is the filing of House Bill 1072. Those of us who are in the business of representing working men and women, refer to this type of legislation as "paycheck deception." The purpose of this bill is to silence the voice of the working class. Let me explain.

Organized labor is the only organized voice looking out for the interests of working men and women. We do research into bills that are filed in the state legislatures and at the federal level, that affect workers. If no one did this, then "Big Business", the Chamber of Commerce and their lobbyists would be able to persuade legislators to enact laws to protect their interests, and as in this case, weaken the voice of the workers.

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This is done for greed. It takes money to do this work and the work of informing our members as to what is going on in the legislatures. This bill was nothing more than a bill to make it very difficult for organized labor to have the funds to do this work, but allows businesses to spend all the money they want for their issues.

These delegates have sold out to business interests. How can these politicians say they are there to represent us, when they propose legislation that doesn't look out for us? I would love to see all of the names of their constituents who were banging on their doors, saying, "One of the first things you need to do when you get to Annapolis, is to propose legislation to silence the voice of the workers."

I remember when Chris Shank talked with me when he was campaigning. He said he wanted to represent the people of District 2B.

Well the people of 2B are primarily working class people, and the people from this area deserve better than this.

Shank and the other three elegates from our area have shown their true colors.

Whether we belong to a labor union or not, we all benefit from legislation that labor has lobbied for. Things like the 40-hour work week, guaranteed pensions, paid vacations, Social Security and family medical leave. If we allow business to be the only interest that is heard, then the middle class is in trouble.

These politicians will tell you that they are trying to keep unions from using any money without their members' consent for political purposes. The truth is that there are existing federal regulations that allow our members to do just that. All they have to do is write us with their instructions. It's not hard to see why business doesn't want labor to inform people as to what is going on.

We all deserve the right to know how our representatives represent us. It's time to tell them to do just that, and to quit selling out to special interests. Thank goodness we live in a democracy where everyone has one vote, no matter how rich or how poor. This is the only equalizing factor we have. See you at the polls.

Chip Cook

President, Local 7886

(representing the employees at Eastalco)

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