Writer compared workers’ difficulties to a word game

(Regarding “Employee free choice: fight over phrasing,” K Street Insiders column by National Association of Manufacturers head John Engler, April 18.) Working people are getting a raw deal in this new economy and they don’t care how you spell it, they need relief. Unfortunately, former Gov. Engler compares workers’ struggles to achieve the American Dream to a word game.

It’s not about phrases and it’s not about fighting — it’s about winning a paycheck that supports a family, affordable healthcare and retirement security. The Employee Free Choice Act ensures that workers have the freedom to unite on the job without employer intimidation or interference. The truth is, every 23 minutes a worker in this country is fired or penalized for supporting a union.

The only way America can remain competitive in a global economy is for workers, employers and lawmakers to work together to find solutions to the problems we face.

That’s why SEIU members are forming partnerships with employers across the country and most recently joined with Fortune 500 companies to fix our healthcare crisis. But it’s not just healthcare. A voice on the job enables workers to have a direct say on all policies that help create a new American Dream.

From Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer, Service Employees International Union, Washington, D.C.


The right thing

Speaker Pelosi did the right thing by including Syria on her Middle East itinerary. The idea that Congress should seek information from sources other than the executive branch, particularly this executive branch, is neither revolutionary nor unusual. Congress needs, and is entitled to, all the information it can get for proper oversight and informed decision-making.

What is revolutionary is the idea that a president has the right to decide whom members of a co-equal branch of government can meet with. That smacks of dictatorship. Robert Moon’s belief (letter to the editor, April 18) that the Speaker’s visit was the most irresponsible act he has ever witnessed indicates that he must have been asleep for the past several years as lie after lie justifying the Iraq tragedy were uttered by the same officials of this administration who sought to keep the Speaker and her delegation from face-to-face fact-finding.

From Benjamin L. Palumbo, Arlington, Va.


Politics-as-usual no more

Donating to campaigns is not a free-speech issue; it is a voting issue.

Donations should be made only to candidates that the donor is registered to vote for. That can be easily checked by looking at lists of registered voters.

And that is the end of PACs, corporate donations, Hollywood Left, Religious Right and anything else but a registered voter, as it should be.

If I can donate $10,000 to candidates in five states, why am I not allowed to fly there and vote for those five people?
I repeat: It is not a speech issue; it is a voting issue. And if it is possible to pass a law that says you can only vote once, why can’t the law say you can only donate to one person?

From Jim Humberd, Burbank, Calif.