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Don’t begrudge autoworkers decent pay and benefits



Published: Tue, December 9, 2008 @ 12:00 a.m.

Don’t begrudge autoworkers decent pay and benefits

EDITOR:

How very mean, cruel and low can a person be to hope General Motors goes down and takes all the hard working auto workers and retirees with them? I could never wish for anyone to lose their pensions and health care.

Before I was blessed to be employed by GM I lived on minimum wage and had no health care, so to wish that on anyone is just down right spiteful.

GM is asking for a loan which will be paid back, not a no-strings-attached check like Wall Street and the banking industry received.

Taxpayers are not paying our wages, pensions or health care benefits, so why deny us what we have rightfully earned?

If taxpayers are concerned about where some of their money is going, here’s an eye opener for them.

Does anyone know what kind of benefits your tax dollars are paying for your congressmen and senators?

They have a “Cadillac plan” which features a $250 deductible and covers everything. They cannot be rejected for age, pre-existing conditions or bad habits such as smoking.

For less than $1,000 a year they can drop by the office of the Capitol’s physician where a $2 million-per-year staff of doctors, nurses and technicians are at their service. They also have access to top notch government facilities like Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

They also have annual cost-of-living adjustments.

Members of Congress and their dependents often get to keep their health plans even after they retire.

Don’t believe me, just go to your computer, click on keyword and type in “Congressmen’s benefits.” Read it for yourself.

I think every tax-paying citizen should have the same benefits.

How about you?

PATRICIA COLONNA

Hubbard

Labor, management share in Big Three’s fall from grace

EDITOR:

I wish to draw attention to the Cal Thomas column of Nov. 13, in which he covered many of the points I had in mind for this letter.

In spite of the fact that the area is very vulnerable and very pro-union, it is worthy of note that the current problem with GM/Lordstown is not exclusively management caused. Both union and management are to blame for their short sightedness.

The foundations go back to the 1950s and ’60s when it was just the Big Three. No one looked beyond the end of their nose at the future threat of foreign car manufacturers we are currently fighting. The unions thought, “how much can I get for the members to get re-elected?” Manufacturers thought, “without competition, I’ll just pass it on to the buyer.” The enticement of being able to retire at 50 plus/minus with $24/36,000 a year for no work sure is delicious, with maybe a part-time job. What was ignored was the unfunded obligations to be passed on to the car buyer. Then add $1,500 per car for the gold plated health care and it gets only worse.

It appears that the union and it membership need to make some sacrifices via benefit modifications and not expect the rest of taxpayers not receiving similarly generous benefits to bail them out.

And last but not least, GM wants 25 billion from the taxpayers to fund improving fuel efficiency/alternate fuels. What have they been doing for 40 years? For a few million a year they should have done that already, with steady inflation didn’t they expect fuel costs to increase?

DANIEL VICTOR BIENKO

Canfield


Comments

1news38(9 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't think the opposition to bailing out the auto industry is based on wanting the uaw employees to be forced to make minimum wage ( about 7,8$ per hour)with no benefits as the letter writer claims. There is a long distance between that and 25 to 28$ per hour with excellent benefits and near full pay on layoff ( not jobs banks )

The odds that the auto industry will ever pay back the government money is no more likely than that the financial industry backing will be recouped by eventual asset sales.

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