Thank you, Post and Courier, for reporting on the issues surrounding safety and work hazards at the North Charleston Boeing plant.
The fear the workers have of being retaliated against by their employer (Boeing) for speaking out about safety issues speaks volumes about the anti-union and anti-worker culture here in South Carolina.
We shouldn’t have to read in the media that workers are afraid of losing their jobs for addressing safety concerns in the workplace.
These workers should feel that their employer cares about the safety of the passengers who fly in planes made by Boeing. To do otherwise sends the message to the plane passengers that the only thing Boeing is interested in is profits.
I also would like to address a previous story where it was stated that the reason Boeing elected to come to South Carolina was because of its right-to-work law. I beg to differ.
The right-to-work law doesn’t come into effect in a business where there isn’t a union. The law only gives the worker the right to work in a union facility without paying union dues. Boeing could have gone to any right-to-work state and would still face employees wanting to form a union.
South Carolina being a “right to hire and fire at will state,” in my opinion, was the deciding factor for Boeing locating here.
Boeing saw the aggressive anti-union and anti-worker culture displayed by the South Carolina government and made the decision.
The government should let the employer and employees decide whether a business is unionized.
The government should use our tax dollars more wisely, such as dredging the Port of Georgetown.
I would encourage Boeing to meet with workers to find out why they didn’t want to provide their names to the media. What made them think Boeing would retaliate against them?
Boeing needs to assure their workers their jobs are secure whenever they speak up and bring to their attention any safety concerns.
President, United Steelworkers Local 7898
Projects on hold
I am certainly pleased to live in a state where things get accomplished and we can move forward to embrace the future.
Things like completing I-526, settling issues related to the unfinished nuclear power plant, improving the intersection of U.S. Highway 17 and Main Road, figuring out what do about the Naval Hospital and, of course, the woebegone public education system.
Yes, the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge is indeed a shining example, but not much else is.
DAVID G. FLESHMAN
Your recent article, “SC education reform bill tabled,” comes as no surprise to those of us who have worked in the state’s educational system or those who keep abreast of policy changes and laws affecting public education in South Carolina.
If anyone thought the General Assembly was serious about substantive, meaningful reform in education based on The Post and Courier’s “Minimally Adequate” series, that hope was quickly dashed.
The General Assembly has had decades to address the woefully inadequate education and funding for students in South Carolina’s poorest rural and minority school districts, but they chose to do the minimum at best.
The 2006 documentary, “Corridor of Shame: The Neglect of South Carolina’s Rural Schools,” and the 2014 S.C. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Abbeville in Abbeville v. State of South Carolina, for example, were clarion calls to action.
It is so refreshing to see teachers across the state are now mobilizing and standing firm, speaking with a collective voice that they will accept nothing short of meaningful reform in public education, and I applaud their effort.
In their activism, teachers must remember the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass when he said, “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both.”
Why tax breaks?
I have been following the recent legislative attempts to bring the Carolina Panthers practice facilities to South Carolina.
To get this deal passed, the Legislature pushed through a change in state law that would make players, coaches and executives full-time employees, therefore eligible for tax breaks.
Last year, David Tepper paid $2.2 billion for the Panthers which, at the time, was the highest price ever paid for an NFL team.
Mr. Tepper’s current net worth is $11.6 billion. In 2017, he was named by Bloomberg as the richest man in New Jersey.
The question that comes to mind is, why are we giving tax breaks to out of state residents?
Why are we giving tax breaks to people who, by all appearances, really don’t need the breaks?
My suggestion is to give the $115 million in tax breaks to citizens who are residents and are committed to making South Carolina a better place to live.
Let’s give $115 million in tax breaks to the 49,000 teachers who live and work here.
Let’s give them tax
breaks in an attempt to
stem the flow of qualified teachers leaving the profession.
This solution is twofold.
Not only will it help in the short-term for the teachers, but it will plant the seeds for a better-educated work force that will attract industry in the future.
The deal to bring the Panthers here does not make good economic sense. Let’s make the $115 million pay off in the future.
Isle of Palm
Fight fire with fire
Most of us are aware of the significant cost, both human and financial, of fires that have spread out of control in many parts of our country.
Fires intentionally set, most in pine forests, have consumed most of the “fuel” to inhibit damage. The practice of controlled burning, which began on Groton Plantation in the early 1930s, has now become widespread in South Carolina.
A number of news articles describing the damages of fires elsewhere fail to mention this practice as one of the tools to prevent damage.
We are among those who believe the practice deserves far more attention