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Labor unions are essential to the working and middle classes

To The Daily Sun,

Unions give power to the workers. The organization of labor and subsequent collective bargaining allow the workers to seek a greater share of the wealth being generated by the company. A union can also prevent or at least fight against workplace injustices and unilateral unfair worker related decisions by management.

Whether you personally like unions or dislike them they are essential for the well-being of the working class and the middle class — the 99 percent. No one in New Hampshire is required to join a union. Even in a unionized business you will find those who are not members. Those non-union members however do receive all the benefits of a union member. That is why they are required to pay a fee to the union to support the collective agreement.

Since the 1960s, union membership in the United Stated has been on the decline. During the union membership "hay day" only about one-third of all workers were in unions. But, with this level of membership, the country had a strong middle class. All workers, union and non-union, benefited by this ratio. As we have all seen, now that union membership has declined our middle class is disappearing.

According to a research project by Jaumotte and Buitron, lower rates of workers in unions has contributed to more income going to the wealthiest. Income inequality today is as high as it has been since 1917. The top 10 percent of earners receive more than one-half of all income distributed. Jaumotte and Buitron 's research also found that reduction (or stagnation) in minimum wages has increased wage inequality "considerably."

If we look back over time we see that labor unions: (1) gave us the weekend, (2) helped end child labor, (3) won widespread employee-based health coverage, and, (4) fought for The Family and Medical Leave Act. This according to a source in www.thinkprogress.org.

So, regardless of your personal feeling about organized labor, unions are essential to the working and middle classes in America. If you see efforts to weaken unions, such as right-to-work legislation, or destroying collective bargaining, these actions are not in our best interest. Union busting is a national tragedy and is detrimental to the well-being of you and me, the middle class, and our nation.

Tom Dawson

Laconia

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Come to the Corner Meeting House on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

To The Daily Sun,

I want to thank all those people who came out to vote. It was a great exercise in the democratic process. Even though I did not win, I will continue to take an interest in the welfare of Belmont and be a voice for change. In politics one must follow the people's will and accept the outcome.

I do not agree with some of the decisions made by our selectmen, including their intention to demolish town-owned buildings. It has been reported in the newspapers and in minutes of meetings that they would like to demolish the bank building, the Gale School, the Belmont Mill and even the existing Town Hall. Any decision to destroy public property should be well publicized and brought to the townspeople for a vote.

When bad decisions are made they eventually show up sooner or later and that's when the taxpayers pay for the mistakes. The placing of a garbage transfer station on top of the aquifer that provides our drinking water is the latest big mistake.

Has Belmont put out a news release about the upcoming public hearing to be held at the Corner Meeting House on Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m. The State of New Hampshire requires the town to hold this hearing regarding allowing household trash to be brought in to Belmont and stored at the Bestway site on Route 140 over the aquifer. However, the only notice that I have seen regarding this hearing was in The Laconia Daily Sun on Feb. 21 by N.H. Environmental Services. You would think that the selectmen would want the public's input on such an important decision with such far reaching effects for our town. This has got to be potentially the worst decision that has been made by the Belmont selectmen.

Water is the most important resource the human race needs to survive. We, here in Belmont, have a beautiful stratified drift aquifer, a gift that we should protect. There is nothing more important than protecting this resource, not even money. Please go to this meeting and discover that the town wants to allow Bestway to import up to 600 tons of garbage a day and process it over our pristine water supply. Needless to say it would take a number of years before we discover that our water supply is contaminated. But then, it is too late. It is up to every person who understands what an important meeting this is to be there and let your voices be heard. We don't need garbage on top of our aquifer.

I would recommend that the town find a larger room than the Corner Meeting House to be able to house all the people who will be there.

George Condodemetraky

Belmont

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