The president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce is out of line in his attack on the working class (“Senate Appropriations Committee personnel reform vital to state’s business growth,” AFN, March 23).
Glen Hamer wants to eliminate worker’s associations and unions that want their rights in decent pay, vacation time, sick time and pensions. These things are necessary for the working class to be able to build decent credit, and to purchase homes, automobiles, enjoy some small vacations once a year or so, and to become a part of the American dream.
Arizonans depend on these family values that keep the cash registers ringing for our local merchants and our neighbors.
If a company cannot afford some of these benefits, they may hire workers that need a job that can help them through tough times. Many workers prefer working for small companies and will work toward making the company grow, and hopefully be able to increase some benefits.
This attack on state and city employee associations could wipe out the very thing that we need in order to have workers who can afford to pay taxes and support our community needs.
As a past shop steward, board member, secretary, treasurer, vice president and president of Local 1645 IAFF, and president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Utah, I was also a member of the local chamber and the Sugar House Chamber of Commerce. We enjoyed being in the Christmas parade with children riding on our new fire engine and on some antique ones we purchased and maintain for community events. The chamber president and local jewelry store owner needed volunteers to hang Christmas lights, and assist in local events. We worked together.
Without the job and benefits of the city I would not have been able to purchase a Phoenix home. I do volunteer work when possible, I pay taxes, I spend my money in local businesses. I donate to charity. I served in the military. I help my neighbors.
I am very disappointed in the Arizona Chamber of Commerce CEO and his attitude towards Arizona working families. We deserve a worker-friendly chamber for the benefit of Arizona as a whole family. I hope the legislators will represent the family values and not this CEO’s wrong headed legislation that will put jobs in a downward spiral and hurt the local economy in the long term.
Employee associations and unions will work with employers and in these times will agree to some necessary cuts until times improve for the working class and the smaller business owners.