Do more to ensure

workplace safety

Every year on April 28, the labor movement pauses in solemn recognition of Workers Memorial Day. We remember the working men and women whose lives were needlessly cut short due to workplace hazards and inadequate safety precautions, and those who suffered on-the-job injuries.

Sadly, many of these accidents could have been prevented had existing workplace-safety rules been followed. Our continuing economic challenges have made it too easy to put the need for productivity ahead of the need for safety.

In New Jersey in 2013, 37 workers were killed while simply doing their jobs. And while the number of workplace fatalities has dropped over the past several years, even one death is one too many. Nationwide, an average of roughly 13 workers die each day, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Yet, there are some in Washington who would put workplace-safety programs on the chopping block.

We must stop and ask if we're really doing all we can to make our workplaces safer. New Jersey has some of the strongest workplace-safety laws in the nation, yet workers are still killed and injured on the job. As union members, especially, we have a responsibility to be leaders in ensuring every worker is provided the greatest level of safety.

As the historic labor leader Mother Jones said, "Mourn for the dead, but fight like hell for the living." Let's renew ourselves to this simple idea.

CHARLES WOWKANECH

President

New Jersey State AFL-CIO

Trenton

Right wing always

responds like Bundy

Anytime the right wing loses a battle for whatever they want in a court of law, they do what this guy Cliven Bundy in Nevada is doing - stamp their feet and whine with a gun in hand and pretend they are defending the Constitution.

Then they relentlessly waste our money trying to overturn laws they don't like - Obamacare, abortion, gay marriage, voting rights. They constantly attack settled law until they get their way. If you want these 5-year-olds running things, continue electing them to represent you. It will never stop until they overturn the Constitution and the American way.

STEPHEN KLEMASH

Sicklerville

TV40 workers

like family to us

The April 18 story, "NBC to drop TV40 as affiliate," left me in a state of extreme shock.

When my husband and I relocated to South Jersey 10 years ago, we became huge fans of WMGM-TV40. The programming has always been top-notch, along with the news, weather and sports, and the TV40 folks have been like family to us.

We have appreciated the local station so much and cannot conceive of any other having the importance we have attached to this wonderful bunch of about 72 employees.

CINTRA C. CUNNINGHAM

Mays Landing

Legal marijuana

is last thing we need

Regarding the proposal by state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Middlesex, to legalize marijuana in New Jersey:

I will be 85 years old in August. I was born when this was the greatest country in the world. What has happened to America? Ask any of our older citizens. We helped each other. We left our houses unlocked. We left our keys in the car. No one was stealing as they are today.

Now Scutari wants to make recreational marijuana legal. Why legalize dope? Does Scutari have a family? How is he going to sleep if dope is legalized and some driver on dope kills one of his family members or anyone else? Or doesn't he care?

And you can't compare alcohol to drugs. Alcoholics don't rob people. They don't steal, rob banks, or break into homes and destroy them. Addicts are a menace to our society.

All the politicians care about is how much money they can make. They ruined this country. Why don't they try to figure out ways to create jobs? Teach young people respect. Pass a bill that kids can't quit school. Stop the sale of guns. This is now a country of gambling, prisons and drug addicts. Gov. Chris Christie, who opposes legalizing marijuana, is a lot smarter than Scutari and his friends. He cares about the well-being of the good people.

JIM MESIANO

Vineland

Time to vote out

all progressives

Let's dispense with the political nomenclature of "Republican" and "Democrat." They are two sides of the same coin. More correct are the terms conservative and progressive; that's where the ever-widening division lies.

Conservatives and their subset, libertarians, tend to believe in the U.S. Constitution and God, self-reliance, personal responsibility, less government interference in their lives, lower taxes and prosperity - as is stated in the Declaration of Independence. They shoulder the bulk of the federal tax burden while watching government spend money like it is printing it. (Oh yeah, they are printing money.)

Progressives and liberals tend to believe in dependence and grievance, government handouts, bailouts and more control of the people by an ever-expanding ruling class. They cry for diversity as long as you don't diverge from their vision. They cry income inequality and corporate greed then get paid ridiculous amounts of money to speak on this inequality. But they never complain about the obscene salaries of entertainers, pro athletes and, let's not forget, the ruling class itself. They enjoy being treated like royalty, perks galore, while voting to raise their own pay.

They place animals and plants above people in order to control water, timber and grazing land to extract fees and fines. They demonize fossil fuels, increasing costs for everyone, all the while consuming the products they denounce. They are basically hypocrites and liars. Vote them out.

DAN RENZULLI

Little Egg Harbor Township

Christie attacking

public workers again

Every time Gov. Chris Christie opens his mouth on the radio he sings the same tune. Last week, he again tried to gather support for another attack on public employees' benefits. He says that next year the state will pay more for retirees' benefits than it pays for benefits for current workers. But that's because the state didn't pay its share of retiree benefits for 20 years.

Christie tells half-truths to gain favor with the anti-tax people. He'll blame public employees and not the state of New Jersey for any tax increase. New Jersey has not been responsible and paid its pension bills for the last 20 years. All of those former governors should be indicted. They kicked the problem down the road instead of raising revenue to solve the problem.

Politicians like Christie need to be watched carefully. This latest attack on public employees is an attempt to divert attention. He should be recalled and replaced.

We don't need bullies. We need leadership, not half truths and political punishment.

Who is going to protect the public from Christie?

JAMES AUMACK

Cape May