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Unions were important part of defending rights

Jan. 12, 2013 at 5 p.m.
Updated Jan. 11, 2013 at 7:12 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

I feel compelled to write this letter after a conversation that I had with some young adults over the holidays about unions and the right-to-work laws. Most everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of our nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack unions forget these simple truths, but history remembers them.

Although it is true that only 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent set the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a nonunion company, you owe that to the union. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.

We must guard against being fooled by false slogans like right to work. It provides no rights and no work. The purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining.

Jesse Mathis, Victoria



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