Where would we be without unions?

Re: Back to School labour woes (B.C, Views, Sept. 4).

Re: Back to School labour woes (B.C, Views, Sept. 4).

While Tom Fletcher’s data regarding the teacher support staff is most likely correct, his premise that they are overcompensated is suspect. He compares private sector wages as an example of this.

Let’s face it: in the not too distant past employers, for the most part, paid starvation wages because they could get away with it.

One only has to look at most Third World countries to see what uncontested wage levels look like. So why wouldn’t Tom advocate for better wages and benefits for private sector employees, instead of constantly saying decent wages and working conditions are wrong?

Reading many of Mr. Fletcher’s articles, I honestly believe he wants to see unions and labour laws, and the little consumer protection laws we have left, abolished and a return to a class system of rich and poor. Given his philosophy, he obviously sees himself as part of the “ruling class.”

I’m not saying all union initiatives are valid but given where we would be without unions, they are very necessary in our present setup. I’ve often wondered why we simply don’t devise a system where wage increases are tied, across the board, to the cost of living and get rid of wasted negotiations and inconveniences to the public.

I also wonder when Tom is going protest overpaid politicians who have very large salaries, expenses and benefits who give themselves costly wage increases during surplus years but these aren’t affected when deficits occur.

I wonder when Tom is going to protest price fixing, the erosion of consumer protection, and unfair labour practices.

It seems to me that a request for increased wages usually follows price increases, not the other way around. We’ve been told by business, a few times now, Canadians are charged more for the same goods than their U.S. counterparts because they are used to paying more. How ethical is that?

Why doesn’t Tom jump all over that one and add some balance to his columns?

Anthony Mears

Oak Bay