You are the owner of this article.
Letter to the editor

‘No’ on new labor secretary

To the editor: President Trump has nominated Eugene Scalia to be the next secretary of labor. While Mr. Scalia comes from a very prestigious legal family and is a prominent lawyer on his own, he is not qualified to represent labor in this country. I strongly urge our two senators to vote against his confirmation.

Alaska has a thriving middle class due in part to a strong union presence in our great state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2018, 18.5% of wage and salary workers were represented by unions. This number is almost twice the national average of union representation. Only New York and Hawaii have higher rates of union representation.

In terms of income inequality, Alaska ranks last among the 50 states. This is a case where last is good. Income inequality examines the difference or ratio between the top 1% earners to the rest of the 99% earners. The higher the ratio, the bigger the disparity in family earnings. Alaska ranks 50th at 1:12.7 (2015, Economic Policy Institute). The national average is 1:26.3, with the highest being New York at 1:44.4. This is due in part to Alaska’s high union representation.

Mr. Scalia has dedicated his professional career to representing large corporations, such as Walmart, in vigorously fighting employee unionization. The stated mission of the Department of Labor, as taken from its own website, is “to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”

Mr. Scalia’s career has been to promote the welfare of large corporations. Again, I urge our two senators to vote “no” on Eugene Scalia’s nomination to become the next secretary of labor.


The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at Contact the editor with questions at or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email ( Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email ( Writers are limited to one letter every two weeks (14 days.) All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.

Submit your news & photos

Let us know what you're seeing and hearing around the community.