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Letters to the editor

March 8, 2002 | Page 4

OTHER LETTERS BELOW
Boeing workers need job security
A long history of mistreating people
Why I'm renewing my SW subscription

UAW getting hit by layoffs in Ohio, too

Dear Socialist Worker,

I read your story about Ford closing plants and layoffs. We are getting the same thing here in Springfield, Ohio.

The problem is that they built a new assembly plant in Escobedo, Mexico, and are ramping up production there.

They put all the stories in the local paper about the economy being bad and orders being low. If we had the orders back from Mexico we would have plenty of work.

Our local union says they have complained to the international union. We are still getting laid off.

I am just 300 people away from being laid off, in spite of 31 years of service. I need two more years to get a $2,000 retirement benefit, but I don't see that happening if things keep going south.

I belong to Local 402 of the United Auto Workers and have asked about whether our laid-off people will get Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But all they say is that this is "very complicated" and that they will get back to us.

Bob Layne, Springfield, Ohio

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Boeing workers need job security

Dear Socialist Worker,

Here at Boeing, pensions are the number one issue. The union has not produced any results on job security, and the average age of workers is 45 years. We are out of time and must fix this now. Union officials make around $6,000 a month on pensions, and we make $1,500 at best.

Job seniority language also needs massive overhaul. Tooling workers with 24 years of experience are going out the door, while mechanics with two to three years stay. This is immoral.

I've been pursuing the International Association of Machinists (IAM) for more than eight months to obtain their Pension Plan documents. I am now contacting the Department of Labor Pension and Benefits Administration for help because the IAM is keeping mum on the issue.

Don Grinde, Marysville, Wash.

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A long history of mistreating people

Dear Socialist Worker,

The U.S. has a long history of mistreating people from different ethnic backgrounds, nationalities and religions.

It began with the mistreatment of African Americans during the period of slavery. During the Second World War, Japanese Americans were held captive in internment camps. During the Gulf War, some captured Iraqi soldiers were buried alive. Now the U.S. is being criticized by the world community for our inhumane treatment of Afghan prisoners held in Cuba.

During the Vietnam War, when American soldiers were held captive by the Vietnamese, the U.S. "reminded" Vietnam of the Geneva convention. Now, since the U.S. has failed to treat Afghan prisoners properly, people abroad are reminding us.

At home, we treat Arab and Muslim Americans in the worst way possible. Hundreds have been held since September 11 without bail, and there are reports that some detainees have been tortured.

Their family members have held demonstrations and demanded answers. But the FBI has "no comment."

What will be the fate of our service men and women, sent to war by our warmongering politicians, if they are captured on foreign soil? Will they be treated in a humane way?

Does the White House care about that? Of course not.

Hasan, New York City

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Why I'm renewing my SW subscription

Dear Socialist Worker,

I'm renewing my subscription to your (and my) newspaper because I enjoy your ceaseless exposure of the real "evil axis"--Dubya, the Democrats, and Enron! It's also good to know that people are fighting for a better world.

SW is one of the few newspapers that reports on those battles. That's another reason--the main reason--for my renewal.

Carl Renshack, Middle Village, N.Y.

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