In response to opinion of Austin Berg of Illinois Policy Institute regarding American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees strike vote, perhaps a little history and information would be beneficial to him. The over century-long history of worker abuse (long hours, child labor, low wages, lack of on-job safety, etc.) has had its only recourse in union strength, long opposed by both the wealthy and initially the U.S. and state governments as well. A precipitous decline in worker (i.e. the middle class) welfare began with the much-praised Ronald Reagan’s decertification of the air traffic controller’s union, starting a steady decline to today’s less than 10 percent of union worker membership. Your attack on AFSCME shows the mistake of tearing down of one the few strong unions who are striving to assure a decent livable wage and lifestyle for their members, supporting instead the vast wealth differential of the greedy, wealthy, and powerful. Can you seriously and morally agree that the eight richest men in the world, six of them U.S. citizens, should possess more wealth than the poorest 98 percent of the people on the whole of planet earth?
Gary W. McLaughlin, Coulterville