J. Mailey: Things might get worse

High, long-term unemployment, more folks without health insurance, high mortgage foreclosure rates and an infrastructure that is crumbling around us — sound familiar? It should, because I am talking about Maine and its residents.

We are facing those issues and more, with no relief in sight. Actually, it may get worse due to increasingly higher fuel costs.

But don’t worry, we are being heard in Augusta, right? Don’t believe it.

Right now, the focus is on an unemployment bill that would make it more difficult for people who are unemployed; a workers’ compensation bill that would strip away the ability to receive long-term benefits for those injured on the job; a bill that would take away the rights of workers at the old DeCoster Egg Farm to form a union; and a bill that would allow state workers to not join the union or pay their fair share yet receive all of the benefits and protections of their fellow unionized workers.

See a trend yet? Not one of these issues creates or destroys jobs, nor do they address the other issues, yet that is where the focus is aimed.

The Republicans have not shown any interest in job creation. Instead, they have taken steps that are firmly against workers and their rights.

I urge the public to examine those bills to find any job creation within them.

I urge voters to hold accountable those who are not working for the public’s best welfare.

Joseph Mailey, Auburn

Editor’s note: The author of this letter is secretary of the Western Maine Labor Council, one of five central labor councils of the Maine AFL-CIO.

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

Joseph, First and foremost,


First and foremost, the government cannot create jobs; it can only inhibit jobs through regulation. That is not to say some regulation is not necessary, but when business are milked for money using the tax code, then fewer jobs are an expected outcome.

Betty Davies's picture

An excellent essay

Very well-written and factual. Thank you! It's good to see common sense in print.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The writer might just as well

The writer might just as well have written a union promotional ad. The "editor's note" seems to verify it.

Betty Davies's picture

Unions are good

My Dad had a decent retirement thanks to his union. I get tired of reading knee-jerk denunciations of unions.

Why on earth would you hope working people would NOT advocate for themselves? Why would you want to kowtow to whatever management demands, including poor working conditions, low pay, and lousy benefits?

Big corporations hope to increase their already huge profits by turning working people against unions. Republican leaders excel at persuading people to advocate against their own best interests. It's a divide-and-conquer strategy.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I could not disagree with you

I could not disagree with you more. "Why on earth would you hope working people would not advocate for themselves?"
Union members do not advocate for themselves; they leave that up to their union representatives. Sheep do not advocate for themselves; that's the shepherd's job. The most financially successful working class people, professional athletes excluded, are those who have always had the confidence in their own abilities to negotiate a good living for themselves without the need of a third party middleman. I speak from firsthand experience. I've always done my own negotiating and have never kowtowed to low pay, lousy benefits and poor working conditions. As far as management demands are concerned,give them their money's worth and the rewards are often great. Show up every day with the intent of not giving them an ounce of work more than you have to,which is often preached by unions, and you get exactly what you deserve. Some of the best jobs in L/A are with non-union companies who recognize that the best way to keep unions out is to give your employees positive reasons to want to KEEP them out. Big corporations aren't all the demon monsters that they've been mischaracterized to be by union bosses. It isn't the unions that made America great; it's the workers, both non-union and union. Many overlook that.

Betty Davies's picture

And I disagree with you...

Union members elect people to represent them--to advocate for them. This does not equate to being "sheep."

Are you a "sheep" because you elect state and federal senators and representatives?

It takes a heck of a lot more than "confidence in your own abilities" to wrest a decent wage from big employers. Ask the DeCoster farm workers, for example.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Union members elect people,

Union members elect people, and pay them, to represent them. The sheep provide wool and lamb chops to the shepherd in return for his oversight. Looks like 'sheeply' to me.
We will agree to disagree on this one.

 's picture

Thank you, editor.

The only jobs over which Augusta has reasonably direct control are public sector jobs, the one area that unions have left to squeeze. In the previous 16 years of Democrat rule, that area expanded at a furious rate, with no thought to how to pay for the expansion, except the hope that good times would continue forever.

Now that grown-ups are in charge, the entitlement classes are throwing a continuous tantrum. That's the trend that everyone sees.

 's picture

If you sleep all day, you are up at night

or on too much coffee. Anyway, as an organization that exists to place one word after the other, the Sun-Journal cannot win, it seems. When I read the disclaimer, I thought "Why not call Joe what he is, a union organizer." I've always been amused by the use of the term "labor." What does "management" do? Sit around and watch "labor" work? It must be nice to have a cushy job in management where there is no "labor" involved.

 's picture

The big trouble with unions is ...

... they are Democrat in nature. It's the reason their power is slipping away.

So, Breton, you want everyone who writes a LTTE to list his party affiliation? How about age, race, employment status, welfare status, ... any condition that could possibly affect the author's opinion on any subject? Figures.

Your constant portrayal of the SJ's editorial staff as right-wing is laughable. Almost as laughable as your labeling as bigot or racist anyone who disagrees with you on anything.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What if he was a waiter or a

What if he was a waiter or a paperboy at one time. Should that be in his bio too?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You mean like deliberately

You mean like deliberately misspelling someone's surname solely for the purpose of utilizing a tasteless tactic?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You are 100% incorrect.

You are 100% incorrect. Re-read your post. It states, "Well Blanc,"
Mike's name is LeBlanc; not Blanc, as you stated it to be. So, do we shorten your name to Bret?

 's picture

What word did I twist?

All I want is for the SJ to identify everyone who writes that has a potentially bias viewpoint. That is everyone, Dan, including you. Especially you. This is the "opinion" section. Your opinion is that anyone who disagrees with you is biased.

In all my twisting, at least I managed to spell your name right. But I may be too sensitive. Perhaps it was just a simple mistake and not another juvenile misspelling.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It is this pirate's humble

It is this pirate's humble opinion that the 'misspelling' was deliberate and spelled consistent with the intent behind it. A common tactic by certain individuals.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And I'm with the government

And I'm with the government and I'm here to help you.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Whose purpose was to embelish

Whose purpose was to embelish the lies in your 12:22 post.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I pay taxes, which makes me

I pay taxes, which makes me of the government; I give to to Salvation Army and many other worthy causes and so, I guess that means I help people.
Score: Pirate 2
Tron 0

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Have a nice day.

Have a nice day.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan, Every single one of your

Every single one of your proposals for a better America involves taking from someone else. That in itself gets old. To that end, I’ll increment your count by one.


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