To the Editor:
I am a proud union worker (AFSCME Local 2833). I am proud of the work I do in our community.
I am saddened that some workers believe fighting for good wages and benefits is akin to being greedy. I am saddened that some workers believe that fighting for workplace rules and protections is akin to being lazy. I am saddened that so many unorganized, disempowered workers have had to kneel before “the job creators” (or politicians) and get trickled down on by losing wages and benefits in the name of “good business” or “good government.”
I am a proud union worker. I am proud of the contract that provides me good wages and benefits while maintaining workplace rules and protections. I am proud of every political campaign either I or my union supports to elect public officials who respect the rights of “job doers.”
Perhaps I am too proud. I am too proud to abandon collective bargaining because it slows down the race to the bottom. I am too proud to accept that the U.S. workplace must become like China or India in order for the U.S. to compete with China or India. I am too proud to simply kneel and get trickled down on.
The U.S. worker is the best worker in the world, but that quality comes with a price. The price of quality is respect, good dependable wages, good affordable benefits, a safe work environment, and workplace protections. These principles will always be worth fighting for.
Carlos J. Acosta