Ripple effect of laying off Hoboken workers; Pause to remember V-E Day | Letters

Fibo Quantum

Hoboken workers deserved better

At a time when people should be focusing on staying healthy, Hoboken municipal employees are now faced with the reality that they will no longer have their jobs or the security of knowing that after the COVID-19 crisis dies down they have job security in which to return.

Other employees who were not laid off were forced to retire, some after dedicating 34-plus years of service. Those employees have served Hoboken during some of the darkest times and never wavered in dedication. Employees had come to work when the city was literally burning to the ground, during hurricanes, snowstorms, and even pandemics. They were rewarded with not even a sentiment or a thank you. In fact, all they received was a callous letter that stated the city would ship their belongings FedEx, or they should arrive at City Hall in order to return any items that are property of the city.

The other employees that were not forced into retirement or laid off will be demoted to lower positions in which they will be confronted with receiving the lowest salary range of the unfortunate individual in which they are bumping out of a position.

The trickle effect is devastating.

Individuals will be forced to accept salaries that do not even come close to the cost of living. Individuals and their families are going to suffer. At a time when stress and anxiety is so detrimental to the immune system, employees now have the added burden.

Instead of cutting stipends and costs in other areas, they cut long-time employees and institutional knowledge that can’t be imparted. It’s unfortunate that this administration feels now is an excellent time to get rid of employees and blames and exploits the pandemic.

The reality is this started way before the pandemic. The pandemic has just become another excuse for financial mismanagement and a top-heavy administration. Departments throughout the city have been decimated, and so has the morale. At a time when the country has banned together, and corporations have united to help employees, this administration chose to throw theirs in the trash.

Lynette Medeiros, Vice President, Hoboken Municipal Employees Association

V-E Day ushered in new realities

May 8 marks the 75th anniversary of the allied victory in Europe.

On May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. The road to victory in Europe was long and hard; it was filled with agony. The Allied nations realized that it would take huge sacrifices to stop the maniacal, tyrannical ambitions of an erstwhile, First World War corporal turned führer.

The German defeat ushered in aspirations that such a devastating war would never happen again. To that extent, the allies – the world – held the participants of the national socialist state accountable for their aggressive, abominable, and adverse deeds.

Unfortunately, the “honeymoon period” between the Western Allies and their eastern partner, the Soviet Union, didn’t last. The belief that a permanent, lasting peace was imminent shattered when Stalinist Russia pushed its own agenda for a united, communist world.

The victory in Europe taught the world that a Neville Chamberlain-like policy of appeasement only encouraged aggressive and oppressive regimes – such as Nazi Germany — to push for more concessions and “territorial demands.” Suffice it to say, following World War II, the world had become “Munichized.” We had become more aware, more concerned, and more apprehensive about the antagonistic actions of rogue states.

The expansion of communism yielded the policy of “Containment,” a method to forcibly quarantine the aggressor; caused the formation of NATO, and triggered a “Cold War” that lasted some 44 years.

The victory in Europe contributed to the shaping of a threatening post-war period plagued by hysteria, unrest, and turbulence. The “Cold War” turned “hot” on the Korean peninsula and Vietnam. Society grew anxious over the thought of “mutually assured destruction.” A bizarre, nuclear “balance of terror” supplanted the centuries old concept of “Balance of Power.”

Such was the world after World War II.

John DiGenio, Jersey City

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