The worker is not the source of the benefits problem

The worker is not the source of the benefits problem
 
Date June 29, 2004
Section(s) Opinion
   
 
To the Editor:

I believe most of us retired employees remember the “Little Red Hen” and “The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs.” If Maytag is or was the “Little Red Hen,” many of us provided the labor and should be able to enjoy a few slices of bread. If Maytag is “The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs,” we might ask who in his right mind would wish to kill this goose rather than nurture it for golden eggs to come in the future?

I cannot believe it would be the stockholders, CEOs and by all means not the little blue collar and white collar workers. I cannot believe it would be the wishes of the community of Newton, State of Iowa or the United States of America. Yet I see this trend in the United States of companies moving and/or threatening to move plants to China, India, Mexico, as well as other places abroad. I believe in free trade and one day a world economy, but are we not moving too fast and possibly killing the “Big Goose” (the United States of America) which has been the champion golden egg layer of all countries?

While I ramble, consider the question or statements about benefits. Please consider examining why these benefits are so costly. Is it the little blue and white collar people in our country that are totally responsible for the high costs of our benefits? I don’t think so, but it seems to be expected for them to pay for the greed of others with the controlling powers …

During the years we have heard the worlds “working together.” What wonderful words. I would very much like to see this action throughout the world. However, humans have difficulty with putting those words into action. We have an imaginary pendulum that swings back and forth between companies and unions. It seems too many times when one or the other having the dominating power will hold fast to the pendulum not allowing it to swing freely — or, if you will, “working together.” Sometimes, in my opinion, it seems to force an unwanted strike by one of these two powers.

I am thankful for the benefits and wages I receive and received from “once upon a time Maytag Company” even with the carpal tunnel and rotator cuff and some other discomforts causing sleepless nights. However, I earned the wages and benefits. I did not ask for the killing of some of my body parts during my working years. These aches and pains I live with today are my reminders, like wounds, medals or badges are to soldiers. I, like many others, was required to do these jobs for a living.

In conclusion, I pray that companies and the powers that be look at the causes of the rise in costs of the benefits of which they speak rather than the use of them. Are they not looking at the wrong end of the chain of command to fix the out-of-control benefits …?

James Wilson McKinstry

Newton

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