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Letters to the Editor for Friday, March 20

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Jack Welch was certainly no leader

Regarding Robb’s March 15 column, “Welch was a true leader,” I, too, joined GE in l960. The first 20 years were great under CEOs like Cordiner, Phillippe, Borch and Jones when true leaders grew businesses.
I was at headquarters when Jones introduced huge investments in plant and equipment called “Factory of the Future” program. He knew power generation competitors like Siemens had annual 8% productivity gains. He attributed 90% to modernization.
When Robb says the Schenectady union was the real culprit in not adjusting to change, not Welch, he’s wrong. The electrical unions in the 1960s were strong, but in Schenectady they took huge pay cuts under the “Make Schenectady Competitive” campaign, going from piecework to daywork. In the ‘70s, Jones got the unions to agree to automation. Ask Rocheleau who led company negotiations.
When Welch became CEO in 1980, he cancelled investments, moved plants offshore or sold them. He turned GE into a financial company, resulting in the government and Buffet bailing us out.
The sad story is Welch replaced Jones instead of Gault, who left to head Rubbermaid and later Goodyear, viable U.S. businesses.
Welch’s protégés like McNerney at Boeing also failed.
Welch was certainly not a true leader. I also remember when Bueche, a predecessor of Robb, came to headquarters to unsuccessfully plead with Welch not to eliminate 10% of profits going into basic research. He soon found out you had to support Welch if you wanted to do well and not be thrown under the bus.
Mary Kuykendall
Ballston Lake

Trump has done long-term damage

I read with incredulity the pettiness of Shirley Guidarelli’s complaint about Nancy Pelosi in her March 4 letter (“Pelosi should pay for ripping speech.”)
On a scale of 10 or 100 or 1,000,000, how does that action compare to the performance of the president? The president, with the unlimited backing of the attorney general and the leader of the Senate, has essentially done and continues to do more egregious harm to the rule of law, the Constitution, the people, the federal debt and all manners of acceptable common sense political behavior. There isn’t enough space in this newspaper to enumerate the number and impact of his transgressions.
Where is his respect for the office of the president, for the rule of law, for the 330-million-plus inhabitants of the United States of America?
I implore her to focus her attention on the grave lasting damages being done to this country, and, by extension, to the world at large. Perhaps she could remove her blinders to see more important realities. No, I am not a Democrat or independent.
A critically important election is rapidly approaching. I have a favorite question: “Ten years from now, what would have been the right answer?”
Al Pirigyi
Burnt Hills

Don’t forget about imprisoned children

With all this rightful concern about the coronavirus, has anyone even given a thought to the thousands of children still interred in Trump’s concentration camps? They have now been there for years, in extremely close quarters, when the White House said to not congregate anywhere where there’s more than 10 people. Are they even still alive?
No one has mentioned them in months. Please, write your congresspersons, senators, even Trump himself. Ask if we can foster them. I would happily foster two of them right now, and I know others who would also. They are just children, kids who did absolutely nothing to be jailed for, are at terrible risk for this disease (and others), and have long since been forgotten completely. Please do something.
Diana Klementowski
Greenfield Center

Cuomo providing a calming influence

As a retired senior citizen living in New York it is very comforting to listen to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he addresses the citizens of the state and the country on a daily basis. The plan developed and embraced by New York state and the verbal communication of such a plan contains more calming rhetoric than what is currently being communicated by the federal government. Kudos to Cuomo and his team.
Joseph Rowny
Saratoga Springs

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