This letter is in response to the article in The Advocate-Messenger on Thursday, Aug. 23 relative to a letter sent by community leaders to Dana employees. The headline screamed "Supporting union would 'brand' workers at Dana." It was never the intent of the letter or the signatories to that letter to infer that some mystical "blacklist" exists on those who support a unionization effort.
If the word "may" had been substituted for the word "would," the whole situation may have stayed off the front pages of the newspaper. We regret that The Advocate took the editorial liberty to interpret the purpose of the letter as "branding" employees rather than focusing on the real message, which is the negative impact that unionization can have on our community. Further, we must deal with the realities of the global economy in the 21st century.
Union membership itself has plummeted from nearly 35 percent of the working population in 1945 to 24 percent in 1979, 14 percent in 1998 and 12 percent in 2006. The highest level of unionization is with government employees (46 percent) at the federal, state and local levels. When public sector jobs are removed from the mix, labor unions represent 8 percent of today's working men and women.