Unions are born out of need, and in home health care and child care, they’re needed.
The Star Tribune Editorial Board quotes Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito as if he is in charge of U.S. labor law (“The right call on ‘fair share’ fees,” July 2). He is very naive and misses the point of “fair share.” Evidently the Editorial Board does also. As a participant in the passage of Minnesota’s law that governs public-sector collective bargaining, I can predict just what will happen without fair share.
Unions will just work harder to organize and bargain, and they will enter into hundreds of lawsuits over forcing a few employees to pay for the protection of all of the employees.
The editorial’s alternative prediction of peaceful agreements with loyal employees is also naive. Unions are born out of need. If home health care and child care workers’ wages and working conditions were adequate to satisfy the workers, they would not even try to form a union.
The salaries of all employees have stalled as cost of living rises. Part of the reason for lagging salaries is the departure of manufacturing jobs. Unions have not done a good job of organizing the new job markets in health care and communication.
There is reason to believe that this decision will cause more chaos than the union-organizing efforts.
Don Hill, Northfield
The writer is former president of the Minnesota Education Association.
GUNS IN STORES
From Norway, some wording that works
Target has the right idea in attempting to have no guns in its stores (“Target tries to silence gun furor with request,” July 3), but concealed weapons might still cross the threshold for shopping. My experience at world travel has shown me an appropriate way to let shoppers know what the shop policy is. I visited the archipelago known as Svalbard and its largest island, Spitsbergen, a number of times while connecting with a ship for a cruise around the islands. The large settlement on Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen (population about 2,500), has a number of modern shops and hotels and a university that specializes in sciences and other subjects.
This part of the world (78 degrees north latitude) also has polar bears that frequent areas of settlement. Because of the danger, residents are required to carry a rifle whenever leaving the settlement.
Some shops have signs that state: “There are no wild animals in the shop, only outside. Please leave your guns at the door.”
John Splettstoesser, Waconia
Are planners really interested in input?
My heart ached and I could completely understand the frustration and helplessness Joel Tracy expressed in Jon Tevlin’s July 3 column (“Dry cleaner is pressing case against bus stop in St. Paul”). I’m going through something very similar in trying to reason with the Gateway Corridor Commission.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.