Letter: Unions

July 5, 2014 

The stick is what protects workers. Mr. Eshelman's letter of June 23. Jobs are not lost because of unions ... they have been lost because corporate greed is out of control.

Unions were formed to gain workers higher wages and shorter workdays and the need to protect laborers from being mistreated by their employers.

The American Federation of Labor was formed in the 1860s. As the Industrial Revolution came, the need for more laborers was filled with the massive amount of immigrants coming to America. The devaluing of labor led to lower wages and poor working conditions. In the early 1900s, the Department of Labor was formed and worked to stop child labor and improve working conditions. Fast-forward to today, wage inequality between hourly workers and CEOs is as wide as it has been in 100 years. CEOs switched from saying "how much is enough" to "how much do I get." The CEOs' hourly compensation is about 1,000 times a worker's hourly wage. Annual CEO salaries paid in excess of one million dollars are not tax deductible for companies so they are given bonuses, options and other forms of compensation. Auto executives' paydays are out of line and outpace that of Asian counterparts.

PATRICIA LUTTRELL, VP Idaho State APWU, Boise

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