Unions represent the 99 percent

Unions represent the 99 percent

A Nov. 28 Heritage Foundation commentary labeled unions as "special interests" and criticized them for supporting the Occupy movement. The writer misunderstands: Union members are the 99 percent, the workers who built the middle class and are now struggling to maintain it.

Unions are responsible for the "living wage," the 40-hour work week, worker safety and child labor laws, decent pensions, health care and other protections against exploitation.

With the anti-union efforts, beginning with the Reagan administration, middle-class incomes have stagnated, benefits have diminished and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. The middle class is becoming nonexistent. Of course union members support the Occupy movement. They are the 99 percent.

Jan Waitt

Ashland

Thanks to Shop'n Kart for response

I'd like to commend the managers of Shop'n Kart for the way they handled the recent tragedy. They gave amazing support to David Grubbs' family, to the police investigators, and to their own grieving employees. The decision to close the store for two hours so employees could attend David's memorial service was impressive — a choice to put people before profits.

For the last 25 years I have bought my groceries at Shop'n Kart because of their community support, healthy food choices, and especially the way they treat their employees. Thank you, Shop'n Kart, for being an integral part of Ashland's unique culture.

Marcia Hunter

Ashland

Shop'n Kart action showed sensitivity

There is so much I love about living in Ashland. Last Sunday, Nov. 27, at 12:30 p.m. was no exception. I'd been pondering over this notion of "giving thanks" as I approached Shop'n Kart to pick up some post-Thanksgiving grocery items. Many of the staff, in their green uniforms, were milling outside the automatic entrance door which was closed. I thought there must have been a power outage, and queried one of the employees.

She apologized, "I'm sorry, the store is closed because we are going to the memorial service of our coworker, David Grubbs, who was killed."

I nodded. "Oh, yes. I'm so sorry," I said, remembering his horrible death on the bike trail last Saturday.

Returning to my car, I thought during this time of economic depression, how much I really appreciated the kindness to close the store for a while, to give the employees this time to grieve their loss.

I give thanks to Shop'n Kart owners for their sensitivity and compassionate caring during this time of deep sadness. Thank you.

Elise Lockhart

Ashland