This letter is in support of the American worker.
Suppose a woman is fired because she complained about being harassed. Or someone gets fired for not agreeing to do something dangerous or illegal.
In those situations, the person fired would be able to sue because there are labor laws in this country to prevent outrageous abuse of employees. Those laws exist because unions lobbied and negotiated for them.
Every person in this country who has been employed or collected unemployment has benefited from unions, even if they did not belong to them.
Lose the right to bargain as a group and, poof, those protections will vanish.
What is at stake in Wisconsin is not taxpayer money. The unions have already conceded the money. It is the right to join together to bargain for fair treatment for workers.
In America, people usually cherish their rights. Without the right to join together to defend one worker who is being treated unfairly, all workers can simply be picked off, one by one.
While I do not defend any actions by individual unions, I can promise this: Once the right to bargain collectively is lost, it will be lost forever.
For those people who say unions destroyed the once-thriving manufacturing base that existed in this country, I would like to suggest that it was with the unions that it reached its peak, and that if it has reached its demise, the cause could very well be elsewhere.
Claire Gamache, Lewiston