*Editor’s Note: This opinion is in response to an article titled “Voters will decide fate of mandatory union fees” published in the Thursday, July 26 Courier-Post.

The recent article on Proposition A (“Voters will decide fate of mandatory union membership with Missouri Proposition A,” July 25) was an unfair view of an important issue. Union membership is not mandatory in any Missouri workplace under current law. And the claims that the Chamber of Commerce makes about wages in other states with these laws simply are not true.

I am a retired union carpenter in Palmyra, just like three generations of my family before me. I joined my union because I knew it was the best way to get a fair wage and respect on the job. Nobody made me join. The union offers a great opportunity to get a good education you can use the rest of your life. It’s free. And if you don’t like it, you have the right to leave at any time.

Proposition A will lower wages and make it harder for working people like me to get ahead, and that’s the point. If union workers lose the contracts that guarantee good wages, then other employers in the community won’t have to offer competitive wages to their nonunion workers, either. That’s good for a few people’s bottom line but it’s a raw deal for everyone else.

We have got to vote down Proposition A if we want to hold on to decent middle-class jobs in Northeast Missouri. Don’t be deceived by anyone who tells you otherwise.

— Jim Thornburg, Palmyra

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