Paul Lowell wrote on April 26 and May 8 and expressed his dismay of unions, and that companies have come a long way in their treatment of employees.
That is true, but unions were founded because of bad treatment and abuse, and they protect the workers’ rights, health and benefits. Our ancestors basically went to war to form them.
Without a union, an employer can easily release an employee, regardless of work ethic, as we have seen over the years here at New Page with some of our salaried co-workers.
I know Lowell personally. He is an honest, hard-working, blue-collar guy who honed his skills in the construction industry. Non-union construction wages can be impressive, probably due to the competition of the trade unions.
Twenty miles from us, the current Verso mill, formerly IP, replaced all of its union workers in 1987 and the union was disbanded. Now their wages, which were always higher than ours, are lower.
Yes, the company pays us, but the union negotiates those wages and sets the standard.
Tom Hines, Peru

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