We urge the Northern Michigan Hospital administration to immediately begin bargaining in good faith with its striking nurses.
As an organization promoting grassroots democracy and social justice, the Green Party supports any group of workers who exercise
their right to seek union representation. Once those workers have democratically elected a union to represent them, we support its
representatives‘ efforts to negotiate a contract which ensures its members fair wages, adequate health care benefits, a pension plan
and a voice in the decisions concerning the health and safety of the workplace.
On Friday, Nov. 22, about a week after the strike started, two Emmet County Green Party members met with NMH President and COO Tom Mroczkowski to discuss the strike.
While we appreciated Mr. Mroczkowski taking the time to explain the hospital board‘s position, the Greens were concerned that Mr.
Mroczkowski and the NMH board seem more concerned with the nurses having a union than with negotiating a fair contract with them. He also expressed concern that the situation would provide opportunity for further unionization efforts within the hospital and at other area businesses.
Mr. Mroczkowski told us the hospital can run indefinitely without the striking nurses, and would be able, if need be, to attract nurses regionally to fill their positions. It appears the hospital is attempting to break the union by holding out through the winter, when it hopes enough striking nurses will have found jobs elsewhere and a vote can be taken to decertify the union. This, to us, seems a questionable strategy, given the nationwide shortage of nurses, the resolve of the striking nurses, and the groundswell of community support for the nurses‘ struggle.
Unlike the hospital board, we believe the nurses‘ union at NMH is a positive step for the nurses, and also for hospital patients. Nurses
involved in direct patient care are a crucial component of the quality of care at NMH: It‘s in the best interest of everyone that they be fairly compensated, and their concerns for patient
well-being be represented on the hospital board. We also believe that the nurses‘ successful unionization effort and their courageous strike - a clear demonstration to employers of the value of their employees, and an example to workers of what they can accomplish by banding together - will have a positive impact in workplaces throughout northern Michigan.
Stephen Brede and Michele Burian
Co-chairs, Emmet County Green Party
Ellis Boal and Virginia Heick
Co-chairs, Up North Green Party
Look! It‘s Halley‘s Comet!
That was my immediate reaction to the Teamsters‘ accusation that NMH is violating labor law. It reminded me of how my grandfather used to distract me as he attempted, usually successfully, to pull the wool over my eyes.
I made that comparison after reading the copy of the contract negotiations as posted on the NMH website. The union claims to have made a counter offer to NMH consisting of a handwritten note that has, unfortunately, not been made public. It would be helpful to me, as a concerned citizen who doesn‘t have a dog in this fight, to be able to read and understand a detailed delineation of the union position. I have that from NMH.
For the union to wait several days and then change the subject is, to me, a ploy to throw the interested public off the scent by tossing a red herring.
What‘s next? Hey! Your shoe‘s untied!
Bill Mayer Petoskey
What would Lincoln say?
Regime change begins at home. The double-speak Orwellian “Regime Change“
translated, killing the leader of another country is specifically contrary to our own government codes. Another reason it‘s a bad idea is that it
sanctions the same behavior by any other country.
What would Abraham Lincoln say? (I quote)
“Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion... and you allow him to make war at pleasure... If today he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, ‘I see no probability of the British invading us,‘ but he would say to you, ‘Be silent: I see it if you don‘t.‘“
Congress, on October 11, invested President George W. Bush, our Hitler act-alike, with the power to order an American invasion of Iraq whenever it takes his fancy to do so for whatever reason he might find glorious or convenient. Think; this power is given to the most incompetent president we‘ve been cursed with in the last 80 years -- the man referred to by a key leader in Canada as, quote, “what a moron...“
And where is the party of opposition? Not the Democrats, who have volunteered to have their spines removed.
Let us pray; (Our president is a Great General: he will blast Saddam Hussein and
rescue us from doom.)
Too bad the leader of a country is not expected to lead the troops in battle. Where would George be found if that were the custom now!
I used to think the problem was that “W“ was dumb. Then I thought that he thought we are as dumb as he is. Now I‘m beginning to think that we ARE as dumb as he thinks we are. Again from Honest Abe. “You can fool some of the people all of the time.“ That must refer to the 20% of eligible voters who voted for our Texas Cowboy.
John R. Alberts Charlevoix
Reality of Saddam
Mrs. Robinson you are correct. I have changed! (RE: Letters 12/5) I had a vision that made me change my whole attitude. We can say no to war! We can make peace a reality! Why just a couple of days ago Al Qaeda released a statement saying, The gift for the holiday is on its way. Do you think they meant some nice slippers? Or maybe a nice guitar so we can all join hands and sing Kum-By-Ya? Maybe if we sing loud enough Saddam will hear it and make his heart grow three times its size. Maybe then he will realize that it is was wrong to use chemical weapons on his own people, and maybe if someone would have given Mohammed Atta a hug when he boarded that jet, all those people would still be alive, and maybe he should have more than one candidate on the election ballot.
Now reality -- Saddam has killed 1.5 million Muslims in the past 15 years. He has never had a weapon he hasnt used. If he gets a nuclear weapon he will use it.
I am not an advocate for war. The basic preservation of freedom and the release of fear from a tyrannical regime such as Saddams is my motivation. Our‘s is a free country, free from oppression that plagues so many other nations. The great minds of our time immigrated to this land; Enrico Fermi, Alexander Bell, Albert Einstein. If America had been around in 1633, would Galileo Galilei have willfully gone into house arrest for expressing his ideas? Hell no! He would have packed his bags and moved to New Jersey.
Freedom from oppression and tyranny is a universal quest. The leaders of 1776 had the guts to stand and fight for that right. In doing so, it made us the greatest nation the world has known. I can only thank god that General Washington and his men did not decide to parade around Philadelphia with picket signs asking to Make love not war!
Now some members of our community preach peace and have the audacity to say we should do nothing to help free other people from this repression. They call themselves peace advocates. WE ARE ALL PEACE ADVOCATES! There are two distinct kinds of peace advocate; those who live in dreamland, and those who live in the real world. The dreamers cant understand why we all cant just get along, that there is a peaceful solution to all the worlds problems, that there is absolutely never a reason for military action.
The other kind of peace advocate lives in the real world. This person realizes that in some situations peace can only be obtained by force. Now I realize that this sounds like an oxymoron, but again, it is reality. We, above all nations, have the power and moral obligation to stop this.
We have delayed long enough. Saddam Husseins rule has to end. And no pleas other than the threat of force are going to stop him. Its a hard fact, but sometimes the only way to ensure the freedom for others is to stand and fight. The old cliché still stands To everything there is a season a time for peace, a time for war. If we sit idly by and dream of peace, the blood of many lives will be on our hands.
I know I infuriated many people with this letter. This was not my intention. My intention is to make people face reality. Here is a hard fact for you; sometimes peace can not be achieved with picket signs. Its time for us to act.
Tim Burger via email