Puzzled by reference to union in letter to editor

To the editor:
Three points re your April 1, 2017, edition:
1. Tim A. Carls’ Letter to the Editor, headlined “Road Commission Board should not run like a union,” which appeared in the Three Rivers Commercial-News’ April 1, 2017, edition does not contain the word “union” nor does it describe how a union functions. I am puzzled by the reference. Can you explain it?
While the United Auto Workers (UAW) has, virtually from its beginning, functioned on a democratic basis, I offer Mr. Carls and you a contrary example: while I was attending The University of Michigan Law School at the end of the 1950’s, one of my fellow students, Larry Levine, told of how one of his friends and he had had jobs one summer on New York’s Long Island working for a unionized commercial garbage collector. That year, Jimmy Hoffa was running for re-election as president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and was seeking endorsements from IBT locals.
The two college students attended an IBT union local meeting that summer and, when the “Yes” votes were called for on the motion to support Mr. Hoffa’s re-election, many raised their hands. The two raised their hands when the “No” votes were called for and immediately containers of beer were placed in their hands. As a result, the motion carried unanimously.
Times have changed: the IBT today is operated along more democratic lines. Indeed, one of the IBT’s constituent groups is Teamsters for a Democratic Union. Jimmy’s son, now the IBT president, is a graduate of The University of Michigan Law School.
2. One entry in your “Foolsday” wrap to your April 1, 2017, edition caught my eye and triggered a memory — the page 1 “New books at the liberry” article included Love and Phosphates: A novel.
The Village of Marcellus sewage system went operational on June 1, 1973. Not long after, a local news item appeared on page 2 in The Marcellus News along these lines: Beauregard P. Snapdraggon, of Killawog-on-the-Tioughnioga, New York, was in town last week during a Midwest tour, promoting his newly published book, The Effluent Society: A Novel of Love and Sewage in a Small Midwestern Town.
3. I heard that Rick Cordes supervised, put together your “Foolsday” wrap. My thanks to him. I miss his reporting. People like him should never retire.
Burke H. Webb

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