In his letter to the editor (July 1), George Mathews stated, “There is no doubt that wages and benefits to workers are greater when union bosses are out of the picture.” He sounds like my parents and grandparents.
The problem is that many commonly held beliefs about unions are wrong. The 22 states with right-to-work laws have lower incomes and reduced wages, on average, compared to free-bargaining states. “Right-to-work” is an idea businesses love because it increases their profits by giving them more power to keep wages low.
All of the positive aspects of working today came from unions. Before unions existed, workers had very low wages, long hours, dreadful working conditions and no benefits. Unions were a driving force behind the 8-hour day, time-and-a-half for overtime, the five-day workweek, child labor laws, minimum wage, health insurance, fringe benefits and worker safety laws. Unions benefit nonunion workers, too, because company owners need to raise wages and benefits to compete.
Think about it. The only purpose of a business is to make the largest possible profit for its owners. The purpose of a union is to help working people by protecting their rights and safety and negotiating as a group for good pay and benefits.
Hating unions makes some sense for wealthy owners of large corporations. Hating unions makes no sense for working people.
Ellen Field, New Gloucester