Where is U.S. corporate responsibility?I read with knowing...

LETTERS

February 04, 1996

Where is U.S. corporate responsibility?

I read with knowing dismay the articles in the Jan. 21 paper on Bausch & Lomb, Inc. leaving Maryland. This hits very close to home as I tell you our family's circumstances. My family relocated from Connecticut 18 months ago after my husband's company announced it was closing the manufacturing facility of a German pharmaceutical company. Operations were going back overseas. I was also working at a terrific job in a corporate environment for 12 years at a major bakery company. We debated long and hard about leaving our home of 10 years as well as giving up my career at a great company. We decided to make the move.

My husband's resume was updated and copies were sent to various headquarters up and down the East Coast.

Maryland offered him a good opportunity in the phamaceutical area so we decided to relocate. The company moved us to the area, paying most of our moving expenses. Because of their declining sales and other poor strategic decisions, the company laid off most of the engineering department, my husband included. So here we are both unemployed in a state with declining job opportunities.

I have been listening to the presidential candidates, talking about responsibility. This includes individual responsibility -- family, political and, I would add, corporate.

Why should the idea of responsibility not flow into the workplace? What is the company's responsibility to its work force, the people who make the company profitable? I think it is about time that corporate America assume some responsibility for its employees and instill things such as confidence, security and stability to its extended family.

People at the age of 40 are not interested in retirement benefits from their company closure. People at 40 are interested in a good-paying job to secure their family's future and the future of their children. My husband and I, both disheartened and angry at corporate America, are planning to open our own business. Be assured we will not treat our employees as big business has treated us.

Anne Golino

Finksburg

Educators should freeze salaries

The decision to cut or include educational programs in the budget rests solely with the administrators in the Department of Education, not with the county commissioners. The school board has the power to override such decisions but the overwhelming track record of this school board and all preceding boards has been to rubber-stamp administrative decisions. (We deserve what we elect.)

Despite very generous infusions of tens of millions of tax dollars by the county commissioners into the DOE budget -- to the neglect of all other county needs and its employees -- it has been the choice of DOE administrators to put more than 80 percent of all education money into wage, salaries and benefits instead of classroom needs, a practice which gravely belies their motto, "We are here for the children."

It was outrageous to observe parents, teachers and students at the DOE budget hearing, often on the verge of tears, begging the DOE administrators to withdraw threats of program cuts. The public placed its trust in these very well-paid administrators and this trust has been violated. If all wages, salaries and benefits were frozen at this year's level, there would be no budget shortfall or need for any instructional programs to be reduced or eliminated. These salary and benefit increases were negotiated in defiance of warnings two years ago that future budget constraints would be necessary.

It was callous to negotiate these increases, knowing that they could not be honored, in order to use DOE employees as pawns in these annual budget tugs of war. This cannot continue and the public is tired of being manipulated.

Jerry Brunst

William Bowen

Westminster

The writers are candidates for the Carroll County Board of Education.

Break-up of local phone monopoly

A recent article in The Sun reported that the "monopoly" in local phone service is about to be broken up in Maryland. This got me thinking about what I, as a Bell Atlantic customer and employee, stood to gain by the move.

Well, first, you can bet that the new competitors are not interested in providing me with service out here in Carroll. They will be busy trying to skim the cream of the large business customers in the metropolitan areas.

And who can blame them? The ruling places no requirement that they provide universal service such as Bell Atlantic must. Even if they did want my business, that would probably mean another barrage of phone calls during dinner to tell me what a great deal they're offering. Meanwhile, I'll be thinking about how many more Bell Atlantic jobs will be lost due to the growing threat, and wondering if my job will be included in that list.

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