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Support needed for bill that will protect steel industry, worker benefits



Published: Sun, August 12, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Support needed for bill that will protect steel industry, worker benefits

EDITOR:

We should all be disappointed to learn that yet another 24,000 jobs have been lost in this country -- this time, in the steel industry because of what the politicians call "free trade."

It is now nearly impossible to find clothes, toys, stereos, computers and many other items that are "Made in America." These industries are gone because our leaders promised us that giving their jobs away would make it easier on us in the long run by lowering prices, creating other jobs and improving the lives of workers here and elsewhere.

Have any of these promises come true? Have prices dropped? Have we replaced the hundreds of thousands of industrial jobs that have been lost? Are workers better off today? The record is clear. These were false promises.

We had better make sure we do not throw away another industry, and certainly not one as vital to our national security as steel.

The movie "Pearl Harbor" re-enacts the Japanese attack on the United States, a devastating blow to our military might. But in 1941, we had a strong steel industry and we were able to go into high gear and produce the steel that was needed for the aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships that were so important in the effort to defend our country and eventually defeat Germany and Japan.

If we do not wake up, we will soon be unable to repeat that feat because while there is much more steel produced in the world than the world can use, in the United States imports have destroyed so many of our mills that we can only produce 80 percent of the steel that we use. Imagine where we would be if a major war occurred. Where would we get the steel? From China? From Russia? Yeah, right!

To make matters worse, health care coverage for retired workers is in serious jeopardy. In 1999, the American steel industry paid almost $875 million in retiree health benefits. But this is in jeopardy. What will happen to the the tens of thousands of retired steelworkers who worked all their lives to get to retirement, as their retirement benefits and health care coverage are taken away.

It is time we tell Congress to stop the illegal dumping of foreign steel in our country and protect the hard-earned benefits that our retirees so rightly deserve. Everyone, please take a few moments and write to your representative in Congress and ask that they support House Bill 808, the Steel Revitalization Act, a bill that will help save the steel industry and protect the retirees' benefits.

RICK STRAUB

Salem

Throw the book at those who injured farm animals

EDITOR:

I am so upset and disgusted over the recent cow abuse incident that occurred last week in Beaver Township.

Three boys (so-called adults) abused several cows by beating them with baseball bats and broken fluorescent lightbulbs. The cows sustained injuries such as broken ribs, cuts and bruises as well as stress-related injuries. They were unable to produce milk as they should.

The immature deranged idiots who did this should be given no mercy. They should be treated as the trash they are and given the harshest penalty possible,

While they are sleeping, they should be dragged out of bed, beaten with baseball bats and cut with broken lightbulbs. In this case, an eye for an eye applies.

Those poor cows didn't deserve what they got. I hope our justice system defends these cows. Somebody has to.

JULIE HUGHES

Boardman

Veterans dishonored if they lose special day

EDITOR:

Veterans Day is a special time set aside to honor a specific group of Americans. It should not be intermingled with election day as suggested by that committee of Washingtonians in a move to get more people to the polls.

Presidents Carter and Ford are leaders of that group who show concern about corrections and reforms in our voting systems around the country.

Their one suggestion is to have election day fall on a holiday in the hopes of a greater voter turnout. The day that they specified was Veterans Day that occurs in early November.

That is an affront and an insult to such brave men who survived Pearl Harbor, fought in the trenches of World War I or the many, many others who served their country in some capacity in the military or auxiliary forces in peace or war; and especially to those who made the supreme sacrifice.

Election day is an all consuming news-media day in itself and would therefore upstage or minimize the honor that we bestow to Veterans on their special and sacred day.

ANTHONY E. CRISH

Youngstown

Keep animals out of cages

EDITOR:

I'm very upset by the increasing number of people who leave their animals in cages.

I think they could become badly arthritic, not to mention how crazy they can get. Please stop this cruel act.

JOANIE COCHRAN

Youngstown




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