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Letters to the Editor

February 03, 2009

The worker's side



To the editor:

In his Jan. 29 letter to the editor, James A. Martin states that the Employee Free Choice Act will take away a worker's "right" to a secret ballot election for union representation.

That is a complete distortion of the act's language. Both secret ballot elections and majority sign-up (card check) recognition have been permissible under the National Labor Relations Act. They will both still be permissible after the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. The difference is that the decision has been made by the employer.

The EFCA allows the employees to choose. At any time, if 30 percent of the workers want an election, they can have one. And once they have a union, workers also vote to elect their union representatives.

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Under the current system, the employer gets to decide whether a separate election is necessary. Management can refuse to recognize a union even when 100 percent of employees have signed authorization cards.

What you and the rest of the anti-labor people don't want workers to know is that the Employee Free Choice Act puts teeth and a backbone in labor law for the first time ever.

Under EFCA, employers will be punished for violating employees' rights, which has become common. Companies routinely intimidate, harass, coerce and even fire people who try to form a union and current labor law is helpless to stop them. The penalties are so slight for breaking the law that corporations simply consider it the cost of doing business.

You really don't care about the workers' right to vote. Misinformation and half-truths are what you deliver for the purpose of division, and then hope workers don't see beyond the inflammatory rhetoric.

Jim Rogers
Martinsburg, W.Va.




Stick to facts



To the editor:

I realize the editorial page is mostly opinions, but there has certainly been a number of blatant falsehoods printed.

Even the opinion page must have some basis in fact for it to have credibility. One example is the letter from Bill Stryker. He is certainly entitled to his opinion, but stating the longest peace time period of growth was under Ronald Reagan is totally false.

Former President Bill Clinton presided over the longest peace time growth in American history, and you know what? I'll even bet he has the highest approval rating of any living ex-president. That really irks Republicans.

This last election was very interesting as it dismissed the myth that Democrats are either working class or welfare people. In fact, polls showed President Obama received a huge majority of his vote from college graduates.

With our paper printing this kind of nonsense, don't even think about raising the subscription price. About the only thing I read most days is the obituaries on which you have a monopoly. There must be some reason why I go to the paper box at Denny's and purchase The Washington Post every day. It's the only way I can get truthful information and find out what's going on outside of Peyton Place.

Art Crampton
Hagerstown

Go organic



To the editor:

With unemployment, food scares, and demands on food banks all up, the time is now for an organic revolution. President Obama and Congress are currently considering a massive financial stimulus package to rescue our economy. Absent from the discussion has been any reference to supporting a sustainable and organic food system.

Our economy and national security depend on relocalizing our food system, shifting away from chemically dependent industrial agriculture, and assuring that the food system supports living wages for farmers, farm workers and other workers in the supply chain.

Redirecting the billions of dollars in farm subsidies away from corporate farms and industrial biofuels toward a just and organic food system is a solid long-term investment in America's future.

Terri Taylor
Sharpsburg

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