Letters to the Editor

Blame Right-to-Work laws for Duke coffee shop incident

Regarding “Duke president apologizes for coffee shop incident” (May 11): The question is not why two hardworking, conscientious baristas could be so capriciously fired, but how they lost their jobs. Neither Larry Moneta nor Robbie Roberts used common-sense compassion to listen to the baristas’ side of the story. You might say they were accidently fired in absence of a company recourse policy.

And Joe Van Gogh Coffee doesn’t need one; they have NC Law on their side. Under NC’s insidious Right-to-Work laws, employers in North Carolina have significant discretion to dismiss their workers. These heinous laws are designed to protect employers. When an individual doesn’t have any recourse in the workplace, their only hope of being heard is through organized labor. Anti-union sentiment is bought and paid for by employers in NC and it’s no wonder that many folks view them as blood-sucking employment disrupters.

But when they operate at their best, unions enhance production and most certainly enhance the lives of the workers. Often, they’re simply advocating for better safety measures or a living wage. At best, Moneta and Roberts miscommunicated, and two innocent employees suffered.

What’s evident is that these two baristas were not valued. They’re seen as replaceable and expendable. Move along. Next.

Sue Barnett


Race education

I was tremendously impressed and inspired by “When it comes to race, we need to stop looking away” (May 7). Not acknowledging that the greatness of early America was accomplished for the most part on the backs of its African-American population, not recognized as full citizens, denotes ignorance of our history.

White people don’t comprehend why places with plantation in their name make African-Americans cringe. It is the reason I never considered moving to Wakefield in Raleigh. I – and hopefully everyone who read or heard of this article – will educate myself more on racial issues. I second her recommendation to visit The National Museum of African American History and Culture; a fact-filled venue for black history.

Leon Cooke


Iran decision ‘mistake’

Regarding “Trump says US will exit nuclear accord with Iran” (May 9): Obama and our European allies are correct that pulling out of the Iran deal is misguided and a mistake. It is one more example of our president showing his ignorance and poor judgment.

In addition to our allies, he ignored the advice of our own Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who understands that diplomacy with Iran is much preferable to war. It has long been hypocritical for the U.S. to oppose the nuclear weapons in Iran and at the same time turn a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear weapons.

A more sensible plan would be to leave the current agreement in place and then negotiate a nuclear free Middle East. It would eliminate the fear of a nuclear attack among all countries in the region. At the same time, the United States and other nations with nuclear weapons should dismantle their nuclear arsenals as required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

As long as there are nuclear weapons anywhere, the long-term survival of modern civilization is threatened.

Joe Burton


Pass farm bill

I strongly support the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee, and urge the House to pass this bill without any damaging amendments to farm policy. This act includes critically important policies for cotton producers and the entire U.S. cotton industry.

A strong farm bill helps support a healthy and thriving rural economy that includes cotton gins, warehouses, marketing coops and merchants to market the crop, cottonseed handlers and textile manufacturers.

As a farmer, I rely on the certainty and predictability of a farm bill to obtain the financing necessary for capital investments and annual crop production. The current trade tensions further underscore the importance of having a strong, predictable farm policy. Cotton is a heavily export dependent crop with nearly all our production exported in some form – from raw cotton to textile products.

This bill also continues and enhances an important investment in U.S. jobs by strengthening the Economic Adjustment Assistance Program for U.S. textile mills. This program allows our textile industry to reinvest and modernize to be as efficient and cost competitive as possible, while maintaining and expanding jobs in rural areas of the Southeast.

Rob Fleming