about entire area
Regarding the Nov. 6 letter, "Lost casino wages least of our worries," which criticized Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of UNITE-HERE:
I was one of the Local 54 employees privy to a meeting held Nov. 5 to address the recent hurricane and the catastrophic loss of not only our offices, but the losses sustained by the people of our city and the surrounding area.
McDevitt asked all of us to help every person affected by this storm. He adamantly stated that we must help every member of our community - not just union members, but all the people of this great city and the surrounding areas.
His request was given with sincerity and heart-felt emotion. It touched me greatly and only made me respect McDevitt more for his concern for the people of this city, where he has made his home for many years.
McDevitt and the Local 54 team is in the process of setting up an all-inclusive Helping Hands One Stop Clinic, where representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, N.J. unemployment officials, food banks and other useful resources will be accessible to every person from our area. Local 54 is diligently trying to coordinate these efforts as quickly as possible to make them available to those in need.
P.S.: Perhaps the letter writer should ask the approximately 40,000 people employed by the casinos if they think their loss of income, on top of everything else they lost, is trivial. I think not.
UNITE HERE Local 54
Lost wages a big deal
for casino workers
If the writer of the Nov. 6 letter, "Lost casino wages least of our worries," was shocked by Bob McDevitt's supposed lack of concern for the entire area, I was equally shocked by the writer's insensitive, incorrect, rude comments. The loss of wages may not by one of his worries, but I guarantee it is a huge worry to many of the families who live paycheck to paycheck.
As president of Local 54 of UNITE-HERE, McDevitt represents hundreds of employees, protecting their rights as contracted. His "comfy" office should befit a man of that position, as would any CEO's office. And while McDevitt's personal feelings regarding the devastation and loss of life in the area are unknown to me, his primary responsibility is the working conditions of his union members.
What the letter writer may not realize, sitting in his comfy Linwood home, is that a huge portion of casino employees do not have the luxury of a beachfront home, extra car, recreational vehicle or boat. They literally survive week to week, and the loss of even one paycheck is a financial crisis. The loss of a million-dollar home versus the loss of a week's pay is all in the eyes of the beholder. These same employees also are a huge support to many local businesses.
Kindly temper your feelings with a little more patience, understanding and compassion. We're all trying to survive this.
By the way, I've never been a casino employee and I don't know McDevitt. I was a union member though, and I've had storm losses and lived on a very limited budget. I know of what I speak. Does the letter writer?