'Pension reform' just another term for union-busting

Opinion

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Pension reform is code for "stiff the working man." The "ticking time bomb" (1920s villain?) or "monster in the closet" (Boogeyman?) or "silent killer" (high blood pressure?) as the president of the Business and Civic Council of Oak Park so aptly described the pension fund, will remain solvent as long as employees and the employer contribute to the fund and invest wisely. [Pension reform is key to a more viable future, Viewpoints, July 9]

According to their website, the main goal of the Business and Civic Council of Oak Park is "economic growth," which "affects virtually every aspect of our civic and community life, including the ability to fund schools, parks, public safety, social services, and maintain our infrastructure." That all sounds nice, but by what means do you attempt to create this growth? On the backs of village workers? It is a clear stance that profit is being valued over people. I understand that people do not want to pay "high" taxes, but as Ben Franklin said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Oak Park claims to be a "liberal" town, but that liberalism only seems to encompass social issues and the environment. There is little to no concern for economic justice and worker's rights. More people are concerned with their own bottom line than with what is fair. I'm sure the lawyers can justify their $300 per hour rate. I'm confident the doctors are comfortable driving around in their Mercedes-Benzes. I'm certain the investment brokers love living in their million-dollar houses designed by famous architects.

Working in the public sector, you trade the opportunity to make lots of money for the opportunity to have a secure profession. Part of that security is the pension. You know you will never become a millionaire, but you also know you'll never have to choose between food and medicine when you retire.

The Business and Civic Council of Oak Park and Dan Haley should be ashamed of their anti-worker agenda. [Tiptoeing around those unsustainable pensions, Dan Haley, June 25]

Men and women fought and died in order to gain worker rights (pensions, 40-hour work week, minimum wage, health care). Now a group with a corporation mentality is attempting to take them away-by hook or by crook. They are modern-day union-busters. The only thing missing is the Pinkertons.
Jon Larson

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