A silent protester cries while wearing a sticker over her...

A silent protester cries while wearing a sticker over her mouth signifying the loss in wages from the right-to-work law in Lansing, Mich. (Dec. 12, 2012) Credit: AP

I absolutely disagree with Alvin Bessent's column on unions and right-to-work laws ["Bad news for unions is bad news for workers," Opinion, Dec. 13].

Unions did have their place and were instrumental in reforming the American workplace for the better by calling for 40-hour workweeks, benefits and safe conditions. Now, of course, we have federal and state labor departments, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Unions have protected incompetent workers. Unions have made lazy workers more lazy. Unions have lowered the bar, and prevented workers from excelling -- why bother if the automatic raise is coming anyway? Public sector unions have driven up the cost of services to the point that many people are forced to rent out part of their houses so they can afford to live on Long Island.

Yes, the "free ride" will result in weaker unions. But, that's because the unions will have less money to spend to bribe the Democratic candidates they support.

Jeffrey Redelman, Melville