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Labor unions brought path to middle class

DEAR EDITOR:

Being that the UAW was recently on strike, let’s talk about labor unions.

The Republicans have always been against collective bargaining and increasing the minimum wage. They don’t want to see the butler on the beach or on the golf course with them.

Some people blame the labor unions for our jobs going to foreign countries for cheaper wages; this is a lie. Our jobs were given to them by corporate America.

Companies moved out of the unionized north to the non-unionized south when the workers started to organize. Then they moved to “many foreign countries.”

If it wasn’t for labor unions, workers would still be working seven days perweek, 12 hours per day, making 10 cents per hour, with no overtime pay, no safety rules or regulations and no benefits.

The history of labor unions’ severe life-and-death struggle should be taught in schools, as the employers had the National Guard and the state police to stop union organizing. The kids would definitely come out with a progressive and light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel outlooks on life.

Corporate America with all its greed caused and is directly responsible for the Department of Labor and its agencies, labor laws and safety rules and regulations, not the hardworking, part-time, two-jobs American people.

Why are we living in a paycheck-to-paycheck country?

Is this what American workers and taxpayers really want for their children and grandchildren?

In 1967, the minimum wage was $1.40 per hour. In 2019, 52 years later, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, just $5.85 more. You can’t buy three gallons of gas to go to work for $7.25.

In today’s U.S. economy, the ONLY representatives workers have for a living wage and a path into the middle class are labor unions.

DAVID P. GAIBIS SR.

Edinburg, Pa.