Dave Richards for September 25th…………….


--I was happy to see that this area’s electric power distributor, National Grid, and the Mayor’s Office, City of Woonsocket are joining forces to educate the public about energy conservation.  We all learned about conservation years ago.  But over the years, conserving energy has gotten easier with the advancement of technology.  Now seems a good time for an update.  For instance, home owners might be eligible for discounts and rebates on things which will save energy like insulation improvements, light bulbs, faucet aerators and showerheads, Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, and no-cost recycling of a fridge or freezer, plus a $50 reward. 

  These are available to people right now, but many don’t know about it, and that’s why you’ll be hearing and seeing messages about these and more energy saving programs you are entitled to.  The best way to get started is to call for a Home Energy Assessment at this toll-free number:  1-888-633-7947.  I’ve taken part in these programs before and believe me, they are absolutely worth it.


--We received a press release yesterday from the candidate for RI Governor of The Moderate Party.  They are appealing the decision of the manager of WPRI-TV to exclude William Gilbert from the gubernatorial debate they are hosting at Roger Williams University this Thursday.  Included in the press release is a letter from Attorney James P. Howe putting forth his client’s position that, according to the written guidelines, Candidate Gilbert does meet all the qualifications to appear with the other candidates and take part in the debate. 

  I know Pat Wholey, the manager of WPRI-TV, and I have always known him to be a fair man.  I haven’t spoken to him about this matter, but I do know from personal experience it is impossible to please everyone in the realms of religion or politics.    


--I think it is very interesting that the school bus drivers in Providence are demanding a pension instead of a 401k plan for retirement.  The only reason I can think of for this is that the drivers don’t want to be in control of their own retirement funds…….OR maybe they don’t have any faith in the financial markets and want some other entity to be ‘on the hook’ for making retirement payments to them, even in the face of a possible future financial calamity.  I don’t know.

  Regardless of the reason, I wonder why it is important enough to them to call a strike over.  The trouble and inconvenience they are causing with this job action is, unfortunately, focused on the families of school children in the capitol city.  I doubt that the management of the bus company is feeling the pain the same way the taxpayers of Providence are.  This can only serve to anger the “unintended victims” of the job action, and we all know what that leads to. 

  We saw this happen with unionized teachers in years past with disastrous long-term results.  Well-founded or not, the anger such job actions generates in the public cannot be ignored.  It festers and churns until finally the public hates all union actions and even the members of unions and the unions themselves.  In the case of the teachers, even our legislature got into the act and passed a law making teacher’s strikes illegal in this state.  That kind of law can only happen with the consent of the voters.  Voters who have had their limit of being unintended victims.

  I’m sure in this case school bus driver union operatives did not set out to hurt voters and families and children.  But that is what has happened, whether intended or not.  The union and their members now must deal with that reality, because they, and members of all unions, will be held to account for it.  If it’s management you wish to ‘motivate’, direct your efforts at management, I say.  Do not use families with children as you would use an anvil to pound the thing you want to change.  An anvil takes half the pounding, you know.  And it hurts. 

   The bus drivers need to remember they are doing a disservice to all union members now and for years to come by hurting innocent people to win against management.  I have been a union member.  I recognize the importance of labor unions to this country.  But the trend in recent years has been away from unionization.  I think that trend is because of past labor actions which hurt innocent people.  Good people don’t want to hurt innocent people, so if they have a choice, they choose not to join a union.  A very disturbing trend, indeed. 

  Some of you reading this may think I am talking about the members of the Woonsocket Teachers’ Guild, currently on a ‘work-to-rule’ action.  No, I’m not.  ‘Work-to-rule’ is not a strike.  It is a measured step.

  I would hope today’s Providence school bus union members would learn from the past and moderate their actions accordingly. 


--That’s what I think.  What do you think?  Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. 

Thanks for reading. 











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