Dear Editor:

Over the last several weeks I have been reading and watching the events in Wisconsin as they unfold.

One thing is perfectly obvious. The unions are being made out to be the enemy when in fact they are the biggest ally that the working class citizen can have. They fight against big business and big government for your rights to:

1. A decent, living wage..not just a surviving wage.

2. Decent benefits..ie.. health insurance, prescription and eye coverage

3. Decent working conditions, guarding against unsafe conditions in the factory, office etc.

4. Sick time..after all everyone gets sick

5. Vacation time..after working hard all year don't we deserve a vacation like the big bosses get?

6. Not only a pension for retirement but a livable pension.

People questioning why union workers have these things and non-union workers don't, don't they see the difference is that they are union represented.

The question they should be asking themselves is:

1. Why do they have a living wage and I am merely surviving?

The answer is: UNIONS

2. Why do they enjoy good health care, and benefits?

UNIONS

3. Why can they retire, after working hard all their life, with pensions and health benefits that hold true until age 65 and medicare kicks in?

UNIONS

Let's be realistic about the whole debate. The unions did not and are not responsible for the financial trouble of all the states and the entire country as the conservative right wing would have you believe. These benefits are something that have transpired over years and years of collective bargaining with both democrat and republican administrations who I might add AGREED to these benefits. Along the way, workers have agreed to less increases in wages and in some cases NO increases in wages to allow for better health benefits.

What's going on in Wisconsin is a true attack on the middle working class citizens and the conservatives are demonizing the unions in an attempt to turn worker against worker, citizen against citizen in a shameful act of deception and misrepresentation of the facts.

Why aren't the real culprits of this financial disaster overwhelming our country being held accountable? Have the Wall Street executives sacrificed their bonuses? Have the big Corporate CEO's sacrificed their golden parachutes? How about the continued tax cuts for the wealthy? How exactly are they sacrificing? All of the cuts to the social service programs that the conservatives are pushing through congress, how are these actions affecting the lives of our representatives and senators? None of the above are affected in any way, shape or form. Doesn't that strike anyone as suspicious? Just what exactly are they trying to accomplish?

Answer: The decimation of the middle class, the class of people that built this country.

And last but not least, exactly why did this class of hard working people feel the need to organize in the first place? BECAUSE the corporations and companies both large and small, were not treating their employees like the decent hard working people they were, instead they were being treated unfairly, working in horrendous conditions without any rights.

There was no such thing as job stability and you were subject to the whims of the management much like people are today that don't have union representation. If unions are dissolved you can expect the working conditions and wages to continue to deteriorate back to the 1950's.

Instead of looking at union members with resentment and hostility one should look upon them as fierce warriors battling the elite for a justified right to equal opportunity to live the American dream.

Sincerely

Janet Anderson

New Ringgold