Living in the past
I laughed out loud when I read Mark Mix’s angry anti-union screed Sunday. (19A, “Open airport construction jobs to all workers”)
I am not now a union member, nor have I ever been. But I’ve never seen a more wildly inaccurate and unfair attack on unionization.
Mix talks darkly about the evil “big labor” and its selfishness and greed. There is no more big labor, thanks to unremitting attacks on organized labor by Republicans in the deep South and in hard-right Midwestern states.
Since 1950, labor unions have been in steady decline. Only about 6.5 percent of the private-sector workforce is unionized, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, wages have stagnated and income inequality has increased dramatically. The result is declining living standards for the first time since the Great Depression.
Mix states ominously that minorities are being excluded from union jobs. This is a flat-out lie. About 30 percent of private-sector union members are female and 14.5 percent are black, according to A+E Networks’ History.com.
Mix’s National Right to Work Committee says it has “no billionaire benefactor,” but multiple reports have documented its funding by dark money from people such as the Koch brothers. The Kochs apparently hate unions because of the $200-per-week earning differential between non-unionized and unionized workers. That’s how they became billionaires.
In Bret Stephens’ commentary Saturday, he praised President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. (9A, “A courageous call from Trump on a truly lousy Iran deal”)
One sentence was particularly astounding: “He was absolutely right to do so — assuming, that is, serious thought has been given to what comes next.”
Are you kidding me? When has Trump shown any ability to consider, or even understand, the consequences of his actions? Serious thought is not one of his abilities.
There will be consequences from all of Trump’s ill-thought-out actions, none of which will be good for the country.
I want to correct inaccurate and misinformed comments regarding Sprint’s merger with T-Mobile and its impact on local jobs and on consumers nationwide, which appeared in Steve Rose’s most recent column. (May 12, 9A, “Sprint/T-Mobile merger likely to be approved”) While I understand that it is only natural for people to have questions about transactions like this one, I feel it’s important that your readers understand the facts.
First, combining our companies will create thousands of jobs, and we will keep two headquarters: one in Seattle and one in Overland Park. Both of these headquarters will play critical roles, and we plan to hire additional employees in both locations to support the growth of the merged company. For example, the new company plans to invest $40 billion to build the most advanced nationwide 5G network. Launching 5G requires more people and talent, including the expertise of our world-class employees in Kansas City and elsewhere. This includes rural America, where we will expand coverage and also add hundreds of new stores and thousands of new jobs.
The column also suggested that consumers will not benefit from this combination. It’s actually quite the opposite. By joining forces with T-Mobile, we’ll have the scale and resources to provide U.S. consumers and businesses with more choice, more competition and lower prices in key underserved areas — including rural communities, home broadband and business and government wireless services.
This will only be possible with a combined Sprint/T-Mobile. As standalone companies, there is no doubt that we are disruptors. But as a combined company, we will have the resources to execute on a greater scale and far more quickly, which will force competitors to follow suit.
The bottom line is the combined company will deliver the best nationwide 5G network, incredible products and services at lower prices, and will create thousands of jobs.
I want to reassure your readers that the combination of Sprint and T-Mobile will be good for everyone — the U.S., consumers, businesses, shareholders and employees, including those in the Kansas City area.
This is not the end of our story: It is the beginning of a very exciting new chapter.