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April 03, 2009

Views on unions

How can Richard Clark (3/31, Voices) call union workers greedy? Is it greedy to want a decent wage (not what illegal immigrants are paid), health and dental benefits and a pension for one’s family? Union trade workers take pride in their work, work long hours and sometimes, like everybody else, no hours. They, too, suffer when there are fewer jobs, a lack of big building projects or a slow economy.

Union workers go through a three- to five-year apprenticeship program to learn their trade and safety requirements. They come out journeyman tradespeople and get higher pay. If they are lucky, they get on with a good shop and stay for the duration. Some do not.

My husband is the union painting instructor for District Council No. 3’s apprenticeship program in North Kansas City. He’s been a union painter for 35 years and an instructor for three years. Like other people in the workforce, he’s had to compete for jobs, and he’s been laid off, too. His hands and face show the years of hard work he’s done, just like fellow painters and tradespeople.

Greedy? I don’t think so!

Karen Zentz
Lee’s Summit

Shame on the carpenters and ironworkers who were fussing over a contract. Look around at all the thousands of people who have lost their jobs in our city. You should all thank God that you still have a job.
Maybe your companies should fire all of you and hire the many, many people looking for jobs.

Mary Dannaldson
North Kansas City



Hey NoMoreMrNiceGuy, the unions just don't wake up one morning and say "HEY LET'S SHAKE IT UP TODAY AND STRIKE", they have contract and theirs was up for renewal and it was time to sign another one. Its kinda like signing up for newspapers, cell phones and other items you agree to use or purchase, there is a contract involved. Another uneducated person!!!


Shame on you Mary, if it wasn't for Unions we would not have the labor laws we do, overtime pay, child worker rights, 40 hours work weeks and so on. So many of our workers would not be out of work if we would bring our jobs back to the USA and not China, Japan or other countries. Try buying products made in the USA. WAKE UP!!! Sometimes you just can't help the uneducated. May GOD bless you.


"Union" is nothing but a membership/gang.
My grandfather was a deisel mechanic and NON-UNION, let's see he was mechanic all through WWII and until he retired at age 65.
Unions had their place back in the day but modern day unions typically result in selfish thuggery and oppresing anyone that is not in their little gang of whiners.
Apprentiship programs are a great path but they do not have to be union to be valid.
Look at the clowns threatening to strike (all of a sudden) at the stadium project. funny how they were perfectly fine when the job started but now demand more whatever it is they are whining about. I say fire them all, there are plenty of other people willing to get up put in a fair days work for a fair days pay.


Great selection of fringe letters from both sides of the debate.

Smarter Than You

It always brings a smile to hear union members compare their lot in life to the cheap seats. Unions were necessary and good at the turn of the century, before the government started looking out for workers.

It is an interesting dichotomy that the unionists that support government run health care don’t trust the government enough to provide for their safety on the job. Or are the unions simply about extorting cash at this point?


I'm going to guess that Mary is 65-85 years old and long since retired. Perhaps, she's even a housewife and she's not worked a real "job" since she was married in 1948.

The view from the cheap seats is always kind of fuzzy. Move down closer to the playing field, Mary.

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