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Right to choose

December 26, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

I am not really sure how to express the disbelief I feel, so I'll try to do it in a brief letter to the people of Michigan. What is so wrong with the freedom of choice?

We get to choose our automobile, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the schools we sent our kids to, even the church we want to attend; yet we can't choose whether or not we wish to belong to a union.

Go figure!

The freedom of choice is good for the people, it gives them a choice and that's what American is all about. We fought in two world wars and many other serious battles to give people a choice, throughout the world we fought against dictatorship.

What do I see that saddens me? Union (reps allegedly) beating up reporters trying to show what was going on in Lansing with the violent protests over freedom of choice in joining a union or not.

What are union (officials) so afraid of that they don't want to give a worker a choice?

When I was in college, I worked at a factory in Lansing called Diamond Reo. It was a closed shop and I was forced to join the union and pay dues, even though I got a lesser wage than the full-time union members and was also afforded no benefits.

I firmly believe there was a time when unions were really needed in America. They brought safer working conditions, better wages and in some cases a retirement plan to workers who would not have them otherwise.

Times have changed. There are federal laws now to protect workers and even laws to protect the right for unions to collectively bargain. Again, I ask why the huge uproar over freedom of choice?

Freedom of choice will not hurt the fair and honest unions and in my humble opinion that's what America should be about - the right to choose.

Robert Whitaker, Skandia



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