Sandsmark letter: Writer was wrong about U.S. unions
A letter from John Holley on Sept. 12 deserves a rebuttal. Many of his points are misinformed about the state of the American labor movement. For more than a century, people have been saying that unions are unnecessary. Time and again, this suppo...
A letter from John Holley on Sept. 12 deserves a rebuttal. Many of his points are misinformed about the state of the American labor movement.
For more than a century, people have been saying that unions are unnecessary. Time and again, this supposition has been proven false because of the greed of big business. Unions still provide workers with higher wages, better benefits and real protection from unscrupulous employers. All you have to do is look at the numbers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union workers' median weekly incomes last year were 27 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts.
On top of that, 70 percent of union members had defined benefit pensions compared with 16 percent of nonunion workers. And when it comes to health benefits, 90 percent of union workers receive them.
Holley's letter mentions other companies that are not unionized are more successful. This is simply not true. According to most recent studies, unions actually increase productivity. Because workers share in the decision-making process, it not only increases productivity but also improves management practices. Workers in unions have better training, lower turnover and longer tenure.
I agree with Holley on one point in his letter: that unions will not survive if they stake everything on a partnership with a single political party. Unions have to work with politicians that will do what is right for working Americans, regardless of party.
Unions also have to organize more workers and grow, which is why the Teamsters Union left the AFL-CIO. Our new partnership with strong, progressive unions in the Change To Win Coalition is working to do just that.
Teamsters Local 116