Don’t turn on unions

Finally the truth: It’s not the failed policies of ABCD or the Chamber of Commerce to retain good paying jobs.

Workers with good wages and adequate benefits should sacrifice what they paid into all of their working lives in order to sustain local business. When we are gone or retired, all of the area’s children and grandchildren will have far less.

What a legacy.

And what have Joe Hurd and Marty Marasco replaced departed industry with? Retail and warehousing. Low- or no- interest loans and convenient variances for a triumvirate of wealthy locals – Altoona’s 1 percent.

Now the Live Here/Buy Here crowd wants local workers to raise the white flag to an out-of-state utility. To fund the naming of Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium? For truly exorbitant executive compensation in Ohio? Penelec workers did vote on the “take it or leave it” offer.

Then the Mirror gloats about adventurous replacement nurses. Nothing of it ties to UPMC’s spokesperson.

Two months in, and UWUA’s dispute with FirstEnergy has never been adequately reported. Investigative journalism would suggest an in-depth interview with UWUA leadership. They might consent if given the expectation of accurate, unedited quotes.

Instead, we get FirstEnergy’s side and descriptions of primitives in Carhartts burning wood.

Meanwhile, local legislators turn their backs on the conservative (union) middle class who elected them.

So go have a burger with Bill Shuster. You might be frying the next one.

James Hammer


(The writer is a locked-out lineman from FirstEnergy.)