Rowina (2 March 2011)
"To Nicole on the "union fights""

I too am sympathetic to the union workers in Wisconsin.  The unionized state workers
said they would give back their monetary perks this season, but want to keep collective
bargaining.  So then the Fox anchors, and other conservatives, say that the union just
wants to keep control over hiring and firing and merit pay--well, yes, and I can see why!

I was a teacher, and my experience is that those who are highly rated by management
may not necessarily be the best teachers, or better teachers.  People have different styles
of teaching, and each may have strengths and weaknesses.  Administrators can have
bizarre (to me) standards of what a good teacher is.  For instance, when I did practice
teaching many years ago, the supervisor said I would never have student respect if I
did not wear high heels.

You have enlightened us as to how bizarre bookkeeping can be in business, how it
can unfairly favor administrators over the average worker.  If there are no unions, there
will be no protection against such behavior, unless administrators suddenly get
enlightened, which could vary from workplace to workplace.  We all would love to
have fair, decent administrators, and some places obviously have such.  But perhaps
not the majority?  I would not be able to estimate.

I have been appalled by the situation in the states where the union-gov't fracas is going
on.  The Fox commentators, with the possible exception of O'Reilly (who is a union man),
assume that the government must cut outgoes to balance the budget, which is true, but
they are using this to "union bust."

My family has several generations of union men and women, so I am prejudiced in favor
of unions, even when they are imperfect.  I myself was a union officer, founding Secretary
of our chapter of American Federation of Teachers.  My husband was VP of SPEEA, the
Boeing Engineers' union.  My mother and father were members of the American Newspaper
Guild.  My mother's father was a founder of the American Railwaymen's union, and went
to jail for striking.  My son has a picture of his great grandfather in jail in a place of honor
in the living room, even though my son's workplace is not a union shop.

I look at some of the thugs who are causing mayhem before the cameras in this fight,
and I know who they are--thugs sent in by the government side.  Probably.  One can't
be sure of anything, but it's nasty, that is for sure.