Unions make it hard for Big 3 to compete

Published 10:46 am Friday, November 28, 2008

I read with interest the column by Mr. Crawford about employment and what the Republican Party is trying to do.

In retrospect, we must look back and see what has transpired in our own area. First, it was the union that struck big steel in 1959 and when it got what it wanted, everyone lost.

Cheaper steel was imported, Armco had to lay off approximately one-third of its employees. Then the employees had to give consessions in order to keep their jobs. We here in Ironton lost the Alpha Portland Cement company because of jobs set by the union, which were less work for the same pay.

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I know because I worked there. Do not get me wrong, without unions we would be working for much less, but we would still have the jobs that are now overseas. In the auto industry the American car companies are at a great disadvantage as the wages, insurance, and all other benefits paid by the American Car Companies are 60 percent higher than similar costs for foreign companies here in America.

How can you expect the Big 3 auto companies to survive when they are paying out $73 an hour per employee while the foreign competitors only pay out $44?

If we were to bail the Big 3 out, how long before they would be back for another bailout? Something has to be done, or the bailout will never end.

This will happen whether a Republican or Democrat is in office.

Homer Campbell