Home Opinion Dear Editor Racism claims old and tired

Racism claims old and tired

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Hogwash! Councilor (Juan) Oropesa’s depiction of “right to work” and its supporters as racist is an old and tired argument that just doesn’t hold water. Right to work is the right to choose whether an employee can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment — period.

As a young man, I took a job as a roofer at a union shop in Roswell. Councilor (Savino) Sanchez worked at the same shop. I didn’t intend it to be a career but was required to join the union as a condition of employment. I was forced to pay union dues (withheld from my check) and forced to go on strike in support of another union, Sheet Metal Workers, at a time when money was tight. To avoid being out on the street we ate only beans and potatoes for weeks so we could pay the rent and sold possesions to afford that. When union demands forced the shop to go out of business, we were only given the opportunity to relocate to another state to receive help from the union to find another union roofing job.

Few private-sector employers can survive in New Mexico under union control. I never received a penny for the dues I had paid.

As Councilor (Jason) Perry stated, unions can be good and bad, but in the 70s most were corrupt. I took a job as a truck driver and when the Teamsters went on strike independents who stayed on the road put their lives in jeopardy as union thugs threw bricks from overpasses or assaulted drivers when they attempted to pick up or deliver freight from union controlled docks.

As for the true face of racism, it is not only white, and as Micheal Jackson said Councilor Oropesa should start with the man in the mirror.

Bill Dennis
Roswell