This letter appeared in the News of Cumberland County today:
This letter is in response to the article in the Jan. 20 edition of The News, (“Union blinks.”)
First and foremost, I would like to state that no member of Local 2327, UAW has any right whatsoever taking union business and results of what goes on inside the union walls to the public in the way as it was stated by Freeholder Thompson in this story.
What happens at the union hall should stay at the union hall. The membership of the UAW has had two meetings with regard to the recent proposals by the freeholder board. At both meetings there was a resounding “no” to the proposals put before the membership.
The second meeting was more largely attended and there was much discussion about the proposals, but the result was the same, be it by ballot vote or a show of hands. At the second meeting there were two persons taking the count for yes and no votes. Both persons came out with the same count. To do a re-do vote now would be a waste of time.
What part of NO don’t the members who voted yes understand? A re-do vote may also now sway some votes in favor of the freeholders’ proposal because the scenario has changed. The freeholder board is now talking about “closing down” the third floor at Cumberland Manor.
Anybody who knows the unions in county government knows that the UAW is the largest union and, I believe, the largest number of UAW members work at Cumberland Manor. So, now that the threat has been made about closing third floor, some members may indeed change their vote.
I would also like to let the public know that when the UAW negotiated our current contract with the county, the negotiating team for the county asked the union to make the current contract a five-year contract instead of the usual three-year contract. The selling point for this was that the county would give the larger raises in the last two years of the contract. Now the county wants to go back on that promise and once again take from the workers who do the real work in the county and who come to work every day to get paid for their jobs or get disciplined for it.
We are not afforded the opportunity to be assigned to a post and not come to work but still get paid and have health insurance. Then, every other week we pick up the paper and see where the freeholder board had given or created another position with some huge salary and perks for one of their political allies.
My suggestion to the freeholder board is to go out to the county buildings and talk to the workers to see where money can be saved. It should be done without the assistance of the administrators of the county so that the workers can speak openly and freely. There is a lot of duplication of services and in hard times like these, every nook and cranny should be looked at and not just by reports sent by administrators.
I have worked for the county for 28 years and the freeholders have a long history of taking from the workers, and once they take something away, believe me, you never get it back and the workers are tired of being the scapegoat.
Teresa L. Brown