Northwest NEWS

June 28, 1999


A union worker's response

   I am a unionized worker at the Boeing company and I am insulted by the tone and content of a letter from Mike Sherstad.

   I would like to see the facts about his claim that the carpenters in San Francisco's airport project are asking for a $10-per-hour pay raise and Fridays off. Everyone would like that deal, but I doubt it would fly anywhere.

   He also implies that only non-union workers pay taxes. The fact is, unionized workers pay more taxes than non-union, because we are willing to bargain collectively to obtain higher wage and benefit packages.

   He further states that non-union workers get no pension. Maybe they should organize themselves and bargain for a pension like I have to do. His statement about the "mob-style" tactics used by organized labor is a slap in the face to those of us who are union leaders and who try to work with the political system to achieve better conditions in the workplace for all workers, not just the unionized ones.

   Perhaps the letter is just sour grapes from an ex-representative who was ousted from office by a concerted effort by organized labor due to his total disregard for the working people of the 1st District. We are better served as labor by Representative Jeanne Edwards than we ever were by Mr. Sherstad.

Ray H. Wilkenson, Bothell