Give the Union Its Due

| April 07, 2005

Randy Grider, I read your column [Editor's Journal, October 2002] about how proud you are of your dad. The memories of trucking with my dad are very important to me. I also took my kids with me and they still talk about their experiences.

One bit of advice my dad gave me was that, whatever you do, stay with a union company and you’ll have a pension for life. I have 34 years in the union and plan to retire soon. I was very sad to read you praise your dad for helping deter a union.

I hear truckers complain of cheap freight, forced dispatch, no waiting time pay, cheap wages and no benefits. I’m so thankful I work for a union company and get it all.

Deregulation began with Jimmy Carter, and it has helped to destroy personal ownership and small businesses. Our country allows conglomerates to consolidate everything from transportation to insurance. Deregulation has helped to destroy the unions, which were formed to help all individuals to a better life.

Remember, unions are workers, organized to benefit themselves with better working conditions and benefits.
Jim Southworth
Marcellus, Mich.

Guardian Angels
I heard on our local news how the truckers are going to watch out for our children. I had to write this long-overdue letter and say that there are angels on wheels.

Thirty-three years ago, my son, who was less than a year old, and I went to Detroit to see my mother. Returning home, an hour and a half away from our home in Port Huron, the car quit. I sat there with the hood up for three hours and nobody stopped. Then came my trucker angel. He called my husband and then bought me a cold drink and some milk for my son.

I just want people to know how wonderful truck drivers are and give them a break. They have families. The next time you see one of these angels of the road, give them a smile or say hello.
Frances Williams
Manton, Mich.

Trucker Clarifies Story
I was interviewed by Truckers News for an article about women in trucking in your October issue. I would like to point out one error.

It was written that I lost my husband when I “refused to stay at home and raise the kids.” This made me look like I just abandoned my kids to drive a truck, while saddling my husband with the responsibility of bringing them up alone.

The truth is that I have never had any children. Early on I decided that I wanted to pursue a career instead of being a housewife and raising a family. I was very upfront with my husband on this before our marriage, and he agreed it would not be a problem.

Later, he changed his mind, but I still wanted to pursue my trucking career, which by this time was already established. He decided he could not handle the trucker lifestyle I lived and demanded that I stay home and get a “real job.” This is what caused my marriage to fail.

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