- Dear Abby
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Maybe the best museum in this country is the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art. Its particular skill levels cannot be bettered. And it has unions.
At Mystic Seaport there is no union. It has lost some very skilled craftsmen. The reason for this is simply wages. Wages that do not allow a modest living.
I worked at Mystic Seaport from 1972 through 1999 as a ship carpenter and boat builder.
One day I was told that I was getting a raise but would not see it in my paycheck. I was to work only 35 hours a week, not 40 hours. If there were a union, this would not have happened.
The disparity between management's wages and that of a skilled mechanic, a ship carpenter for example, is egregious.
Someone in the May 14 edition of The Day said, "We're all family." This is silly. Management does not treat its skilled crafts people as family. Look at the huge difference in wages.
Wages are the biggest problem and a union brings the power, the leverage, to rectify it. It could better preserve the skills used to cook at a fireplace, make sails, blacksmith, build ships and boats, making the museum better.