Today there are two pro-union letters, mine and one other person's, which I've reprinted below. The bracketed portion of my letter did not run.
[I am dismayed at the lack of public support for striking city workers. When union employees gain good salaries and benefits through collective bargaining, all workers benefit, as standards are raised for everyone. The anger and vitriol being directed at the striking workers should be saved for the CEOs who cash out of sinking companies with massive bonuses, not working people who are trying to hang on to a decent living.]
In my non-union workplace, there have been layoffs, deteriorating working conditions, and benefit cuts. I wish I could challenge these unilateral decisions, but without representation, my fellow workers and I are at the mercy of our employer.
The striking city workers are fighting for all of our rights.
Laura Kaminker, Mississauga
Unionized Toronto city staff earning about $25 per hour to pick up and dispose of garbage are roundly vilified as greedy. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs charging as much as $50 per visit to do the same task are hailed as enterprising free marketers. If that's what the market value of this essential service is worth, the unionized workers should be praised for doing the job so much more cheaply.
Something doesn't smell right.
Allan Goulding, St. John's
It's a lonely world out there for the people who are fighting for good jobs - for themselves and for all of us. If you support the workers' right to strike and to fight benefit cuts, please take a few minutes and let the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, or other local paper know.