Letters to the Editor — Jan. 12, 2018

Date Published: 
Jan. 12, 2018

Reader opposes right-to-work laws

Editor:

It is illegal to force anyone to join a union. It has been since passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. A non-union worker in a business that has a union must by law be given the same rights and privileges that are provided union workers. This is case-tested law that has been upheld all the way up to SCOTUS.

The phrase right-to-work (RTW) is misleading by design. RTW has nothing to do with the right to work. Taft-Hartley requires unions to represent both union and non-union workers in collective bargaining. In exchange, the non-union worker pays an agency fee, which is equal only to that portion of union dues needed for collective bargaining. This discourages “free riders,” but it significantly reduces union coffers.

RTW laws let every non-union worker ride freely. Without paying agency fees, they still get all rights and privileges that dues-paying union workers get through collective bargaining. Union coffers and effective collective bargaining are further reduced. RTW laws are a 21st century tactic of union-busting which uses courts, rather than the guns, knives, fists and nail-studded boards of yesteryear.

Billed by proponents as economic growth engines, RTW laws favor business over workers. When unions are weak, both union and non-union workers in every employment category earn less.

Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Try living and paying bills on that wage. Twenty-eight states have RTW laws, and 19 of those states have a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. That is no coincidence.

Patricia Frey

Dagsboro

Reader says Sussex deserves clean water

Editor:

When my husband and I moved to Delaware, we looked forward to all that the coast had to offer, including boating on Delaware’s beautiful waterways. We chose to enjoy the Inland Bays because it’s both convenient and calm for boating, crabbing and swimming with small children.

But by mid-summer, our son was diagnosed with an outer-ear infection. The pediatrician asked if he had been swimming in Delaware’s bays. It was the first time we learned about bacterial contamination within our bays.

Since then, I’ve seen warnings against swimming in the Inland Bays with an open wound, and we’ve started to question our activities on the water.

Since that summer, I’ve learned that 90 percent of Delaware’s waterways are polluted, and that most of Delaware’s waterways fail to meet the safe standards for their designated uses, be it swimming or supporting fish or other aquatic life. But, even worse, I’ve learned that there are many communities in Sussex County that don’t have access to clean drinking water.

There are multiple causes for these polluted waters — loss of wetlands, aging sewage treatment plants, and malfunctioning septic systems, to name a few. We are all part of the problem, but more importantly, we can be part of the solutions. And there are solutions for cleaning up our contaminated water resources. But we lack the funding.

I urge Sussex Countians to support funding efforts and for Sussex County legislators to support bills like House Bill 270 that would raise such funds. Many of the benefits would be seen right here at home. Every Sussex Countian has a right to clean water, and especially safe drinking water.

As a parent of three young children, I’d like to ensure that the children and grandchildren living in Delaware enjoy a future with clean water.

Aimee Isaac

Rehoboth Beach

Reader says America is at a crossroads

Editor:

The Republican agenda, as demonstrated by the Trump Administration’s tax cut, sets its priorities on: (1) a compliant workforce, (2) starvation wages, (3) weak unions (which produces greater income inequality), (4) relentless attack on benefits for poor and infirm, consistently attacking protections for the working class on order to create a fiscal crisis that enables them to kill or privatize Social Security and undermine Medicare and Medicaid.

Their unquenchable thirst for power has created a Congress that is partisan, greedy, self-serving and dysfunctional. The male senators who got paid richly for their vote now stand like sentinels around a president who doesn’t understand the nuances of governing or the intellect to do so.

The U.S. has abdicated its leadership role, while conflicts around the world are being handled by others like China, Germany and Russia. These countries have the opportunity to make their mark on the world stage. Like a puppet, Trump was manipulated by Putin because a foreign power controls his purse strings.

I can only hope that a sane mind will emerge to promote truth, justice that is fair, merciful and understanding, and the American way!

Valerie Reeves

Ocean View

Fisher’s helps bring comforts of beach to Middle East

Editor:

This past summer, while spending our annual family beach week in Bethany, our son began a yearlong deployment to the Middle East. He proudly serves his country as an Air Force helicopter pilot.

During our beach week, our brother-in-law, Mike, inquired of the staff at Fisher’s Popcorn to see if the caramel popcorn our son loves so much could be shipped halfway around the world to our son (his nephew). He purchased a large bucket of caramel popcorn, and the staff did the rest.

That would seem to be helpful enough, but, to everyone’s surprise, 10 days later, when the well-traveled package arrived, not only did our son receive the one bucket of popcorn purchased by Mike, but several additional buckets and various other treats gifted by Fisher’s.

Our thanks to Fisher’s and to Mike for bringing a little bit of Bethany to our son so far away.

Dale and Candy Minner