Letter to the editor: Skilled trades ‘blue-collar college’ | TribLIVE.com
Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Skilled trades ‘blue-collar college’

Kudos to Tom Purcell for acknowledging the skilled trades in his column ‘Trading up’: Daughters, sons can build careers debt-free”. High school guidance counselors need to recognize the “other college”: Labor unions are the other option for obtaining the American Dream, without going into debt.

Research shows that not only do building trades members receive a family-sustaining wage, they also benefit from rich health benefits, pensions, savings accounts, training that earns college credits, and never having to go on another job interview or write a resume. These benefits are self-sustained by the members with no burden on the taxpayer.

Health care costs go up every year, along with training costs; labor unions do not look to the government for help with the rising costs. The increases are negotiated through collective bargaining with the employers that employ union members.

Those entering the workforce should seriously consider the building trades crafts, as should men and women in the trades who are being paid low wages and mediocre benefits.

I am proud to be a union member, and I am proud of the members I represent. I am also quite pleased that Purcell and many others see the value in the skilled trades and that we really are the blue-collar college.

Tim Custer

Youngwood

The writer is business manager for Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 354.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.