I continually read letters to the editor about unions. I was a union member for 35 years and we never had a strike, and that same union still has not had one. The union contracts are negotiated between senior level management, not supervisors who think they have all the answers. At the bargaining table all issues, wages, health pensions, benefits, vacations, job classifications and their description, the company's safety programs (which is one of the best in the industries) will be discussed with many other items.
The union and company want every worker to come to work and go home safe for as many years as they work. Items are exchanged between the two parties, then the company and union sit down and negotiate a contract both parties can work with.
Neither the union nor the company gets everything they want. There is a reasonable amount of money that will be spent on the contract. Everyone knows that and wants the best for their buck. How the money will distributed will end in a union agreement with the company. The union is not there to put the company out of business; that thinking comes from people who are anti-union, never been at the bargaining table or know anything about unions, but think they do.
I believe the steel plant in Georgetown would have closed no matter what the union did. It was a no-win position for both parties because the company is having worldwide problems because of worldwide conditions. Neither management nor union could control that.
So, before you cry in the newspaper about unions, which is your right, get the facts first because no information is much better than wrong information. Retired union workers put a lot of money in the economy here to make this a nice place to live.
The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.