It is patently clear that the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce entered into the fray with respect to the union election at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Why else would Bill Bissett have written his op-ed page column of Nov. 10?

Three times in Mr. Bissett’s column he acknowledged that unions are “focused on increasing pay and benefits for their dues paying members.” I give him credit for that. Registered nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital should not ignore those statements in an otherwise management-slanted column. After all, he is with the Chamber of Commerce, an organization not known for its representation of working people.

When management reduces your benefits or imposes unreasonable requirements on you without at all taking into consideration the people that do the job, what can you individually do when your employer basically owns or controls all of health care in Huntington? Without a union, don’t expect management to talk to you the next time they decide to reduce your benefits or your compensation. They won’t need to because your voice individually counts for little to nothing. Only collectively will you have a voice.

Mr. Bissett argues that a site selection expert said West Virginia wouldn’t have been considered without it being a right-to-work state. However, even as such, his organization didn’t land that company. That indicates the problems in this state are not unions. Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce should focus more on those problems and less on opposing unions.

If you believe you can go in and negotiate your own benefits and pay with management and actually prevail, don’t support unions. If you don’t believe that, then consider your future. Do you want to have a voice or not?

Steven R. Bartram


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