Cumberland Times-News

August 14, 2013

We’re willing to employ people in other countries, but not here

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Recently I drove across the Key Bridge into Dundalk, passing on my right the huge, empty complex once known as Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point.  

Neighborhoods in Dundalk, Essex and all the way to border communities in Pennsylvania owed their development to the countless thousands who worked at that now shuttered plant.  

In Austria the Voestalpine Steel Mill is thriving with 46,000 employees, 11,000 of them directly involved in making steel that ends up mostly in the transportation and energy sectors.  

Some 700 employees work in research and development to make sure that the company remains on the cutting edge of steel innovation.  

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York is replacing a portion of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with a steel deck made — you guessed it — in China.  

What is it about our country, both public and private, that we willingly employ underpaid workers who live in a communist country and work in state-controlled, heavily subsidized companies with no environmental safeguards so that breathing the air in Beijing is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and leave millions of our own citizens unemployed, underemployed or working at low wage jobs?  

We’re not building a bridge over the Yangtze River. It’s just upstream from the Statue of Liberty. Isn’t it finally time to call out this anti-American behavior.

William Tunney

Grantsville