Re: “Government unions: ‘Heavy-handed tactics,’ ” [Aug. 8, Northwest Voices]:

I retired in May 2020 after 30 years in the sanitation business as a driver, and I cannot begin to describe how unions help you live better. My dues at retirement were $91 a month, and I didn’t get much except for the following: $33.34 an hour, outstanding medical insurance, a pension at $3,750 a month before tax, and the ability to survive a Top 5 most dangerous profession largely because my union had my back and held management’s feet to the fire with language within the collective bargaining agreement designed to serve and protect employees.

As a former shop steward, I have seen up close the strain on marriages, the ridiculously long hours worked and the stress of one contract fight after another that test the mettle of all who work at the union hall. I will be forever indebted to these people for their guts, dedication and performance. I lost count of friends fired only to witness their jobs restored to them because of the efforts of union officials who refused to allow lies and mendacity to prevail. Without unions, the term “living wage” would not exist. Union dues? Gladly.

Randy Jahraus, Kent