Letter to the business editor: No more J.C. Penney

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J.C. Penney has changed too much

J.C. Penney wants me back. I doubt if that will happen. It has changed too much. Many of the brands they carried and I wear are gone -- St. John's Bay, East Fifth hosiery and clothing.

It now targets younger women who wear skinny jeans and look like pencils. Where are the missy sizes, the scoop neck tops and sweaters? I found none on a recent visit. A friend describes the clothing as "ugly stuff."

They can give me all the coupons they want, but until they start carrying clothing I can and want to wear, I will not be back.


Bethel Park

Labor can grow again

Melissa Maynard of Stateline.org wrote a good article ("With Big Changes, Can Labor Grow Again?' May 10). Millions of workers in retail, fast-food, service and other low-paying jobs would agree to becoming dues-paying union members at their jobs if the Employee Free Choice Act, first introduced in 2007, were to become federal law. This act would make it much easier for unions to organize nonunion workers across the country.

I do remember President Barack Obama promising to fight for the act in 2007, when campaigning for his first presidential election. The Employee Free Choice Act does not require elections with the National Labor Relations Board, where employers can derail union organizing drives before workers can vote. Instead, the nonunion workers would sign cards. If 50 percent plus one of the workers chooses to sign up for union membership, the employer would legally be required to recognize the union, and enter into collective bargaining.


Highland Park

The writer is a steward with the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union, RWDSU Local 101.

Fossil fuel firms at war with us

As a homeowner who installed solar panels a couple years ago, I heartily agree with Honeycomb Solar CEO Terrill Dines that solar energy is an excellent investment ("Business Forum: If Only People Knew What Solar Energy Offers," May 18) . He's right: If more people knew this, they would pull their money out of minuscule interest savings accounts, perhaps even dropping stocks in rapacious fossil fuel companies, and generate their own electricity.

While I appreciate Mr. Dines' statement that his industry "is not at war with other energy companies," I believe he understates the real situation. It is the fossil fuel corporations -- the richest, most powerful entities on the planet -- that are at war with all of us.

Right now, they jeopardize the fragile climactic stability that 7 billion humans depend on for their survival. They mean to extract and burn all the carbon-rich fuels they hold as assets, an amount estimated at five times the quota of CO2 that climate scientists assert the atmosphere can accept before tipping into catastrophic warming.

They are getting away with this through their financial influence of national legislatures as well as their successful disinformation campaigns. But the science is crystal clear: Continuing to throw billions of tons of carbon into our skies is an existential threat to us all. If that's not war, I don't know what is.





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