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Opinion >  Letters

Unions are needed

Jake Laete (“Unions are outdated,” April 15) benevolently shared his opinion that unions are outdated, relaying a personal story to validate his belief that unions are unnecessary and counterproductive. I would like to know if Jake had read and understood the job safety practices and procedures and if he adhered to any lockout tag-out policy before pulling the plug.

The justice system, like a union workplace, would be much more efficient if we removed defense attorneys and allowed law enforcement and judges to charge and sentence anyone without “restrictive and protective rules,” but I doubt that is a system Jake or any other American would willingly choose to live under. An American union is an integral part of a safe and just workplace with a long history of improving working conditions and the quality of life for all its members. We should insist that employers throughout the world raise their standards not lower ours.

April 28 is Workers Memorial Day, this year we will remember that over one hundred people in Washington state lost their lives at work, simply trying to provide for their families. As long as there are those who put profit and production ahead of human life by choosing to disregard established safety rules, most of which originated from a prior avoidable injury or death, we will continue to need unions. Until all working people across the globe are afforded safe working conditions, and receive the dignity of just wages and benefits, we will need unions.

Ted Cummings

Chattaroy, Wash.

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