Unions are only as good as their members
TO THE EDITORS:
I read with interest the truthful letter, "Blame corporations, not unions,'' by Tonja Gertlitzki, Feb. 25. I feel, as a past president of Local 5156 of the United Steel Workers of America at the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp. in the 1970s, I must respond to her letter.
The unions aren't any different than any other organization -- be they churches, veterans groups or school district committees. They are only as good as the people who are willing to become involved.
This is why I became president of our local union. I had the respect of my fellow employees and was a fair and responsible representative of the contract-negotiating committee.
Unfortunately, I lost my job with the company not because of the union, but because our wonderful friends across the ocean got the controlling stock of the family-owned company. This all happened without the family's knowledge.
After talking with the United Labor Council, I informed them that I would be available to speak at any time to any organization, group or club, in regards to questions about unions. I never did receive any requests to speak.
Regarding the government health program for everyone except the government employees, let them have the same medical coverage that they require everyone else to have.
They should have the same coverage while in office, as well as when they are out of office.
David G. Martin