Cut our pay, stopped paying into pensions

To the editor:

Harry Kirchoff (“Takes the cake,” Nov. 26 letter to the editor) writes about how union employees like me caused Hostess Brands to shut down. I’m the one who made the statement on TV that he refers to: “This country is really screwed up when they let a company like Hostess go under.”

Time to get the facts straight. I worked for this company 21 years. Our company was taken over by an investment firm two years ago. Since they took over they have accused us, the employees, of being thieves and stealing company products. They have also cut our wages twice in the past two years. Six months ago they quit paying on our pensions. Now they want to cut wages 8 percent more and double the cost of insurance.

You need to know our pay was salary plus commission. We did not work by the hour. My workday would start at 12 midnight and I’d hope to be home by 1 or 2 in the afternoon. I also did not take lunch breaks. That’s right, 12- to 14-hour days. I never asked for anything from this company that I did not earn. This is a difficult job. I loaded my truck, delivered to stores, rotated and stocked shelves, picked up out-of-date codes, set up displays, ordered products a week in advance. I was also responsible for keeping sales to a maximum and returns to a minimum. The days off were Wednesday and Sunday.

For 21 years I rarely called in sick and felt I did everything I could to make my route profitable for me and the company. It was one of the Teamsters who voted to take a pay cut to save jobs. The bakers union are the ones on strike.

Last year the company gave upper management six-figure bonuses while they cut our pay.

You should know this company had every intention of closing from the start. You will see, in the end, they will make millions on this company if they can. They never cared about the workers. I used to come home from work, shower and eat, give my wife a kiss, go to bed and do it all over again. On my last day I got a piece of paper telling why they are closing and a thank you. They never paid us our vacation or sick pay they owed us.

So where do you think your “Gimme gimme gimme” comes into this? Yes, I had a job. But what about quality of life?

JIM OLDS

HENDERSON

Cooking with gas

To the editor:

I have lived in Las Vegas for 40 years and have marveled the last three months at the beautiful weather we’ve been blessed with. I golf four times a week, so I know the weather.

I just received my Southwest Gas bill for last month. A year ago I used 36 therms per day on average. This year 51 therms. Nothing has changed in my household except that we have been using the heater far less. Yet the bill showed my usage was up 41 percent. I complained to no avail.

Over the years I’ve filed three complaints with the attorney general’s office over unfair business transactions; not once was I successful. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (whom I voted for) has not even acknowledged my existence with a form letter. So: Is the attorney general’s office akin to a country club? Is Southwest Gas in cahoots?

KIPP ALTEMARA

LAS VEGAS

Doesn’t like the deal

To the editor:

In his Friday letter, Tom Pacileo of Henderson suggests that “We do away with all other health plans” and enjoy the benefits of ObamaCare.

I’m sorry, Mr. Pacileo, I disagree. My retirement package 34 years ago included Medicare, free complete medical coverage, major medical, prescription, dental, and optical coverage for myself and my wife of 60 years. Apparently we are about to have it all taken from us thanks to ObamaCare, and the politicians will now determine just what care we will have in our remaining years. Also, we will have to pay a $2,500 yearly “fee” for this unwanted service.

JAMES STORM

LAS VEGAS

Voter ID proposal

To the editor:

In response to your Wednesday story, “Official will back voter ID bill,” on Secretary of State Ross Miller’s voter photo proposal:

Why would we spend $15 million to $20 million we don’t have to fix something that isn’t broken? Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax says we do not have a problem with voter fraud. Use the money where it will do some good.

LAJAN WORTHAM

LAS VEGAS

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