William Couchigian, Grand Forks, letter: Dietrich misses the obvious on WSI
GRAND FORKS -- On Oct. 14, the District 42 candidates debated on stage at Memorial Union at UND. They discussed issues ranging from higher education, increased pay for faculty, staff and state employees, property tax reduction, Measures 1 and 2, ...
GRAND FORKS -- On Oct. 14, the District 42 candidates debated on stage at Memorial Union at UND. They discussed issues ranging from higher education, increased pay for faculty, staff and state employees, property tax reduction, Measures 1 and 2, and, finally, Workforce Safety and Insurance.
I am disappointed with our current District 42 representative, Don Dietrich. During the debate, he was asked if he felt North Dakota has done enough to address public concerns of WSI. Only his answer could trump the embarrassment that is WSI.
Dietrich has spent two sessions on the Industry, Business and Labor Committee and recently served on the Workforce Safety Review committee to investigate claims of injured workers. According to Dietrich, the issues of WSI that have flooded North Dakota media over the past few years are "purely rhetoric."
I empathize with the employees of WSI. Their past leadership has been, according to the Fargo Forum, an "embarrassment." However, Dietrich seems to care more about the working conditions of the organization that he does his own constituents. He stated, "... it has been, in fact, (so) politicized that it makes it real difficult for the folks at WSI ... to really have a good day at work."
Words that have been used by North Dakota newspapers to describe the situation at WSI include "corrupt" and "oversight that is a joke." Our representation has not stood up for workers who have relied on WSI in times of need. In fact, they have defended the status quo.
I think it is fair that Grand Forks should know that Dietrich and his "Leadership Team" are not right for District 42. They have stood idly by as legitimate claims go unanswered. They have defended an agency that has become the laughing stock of the industry. Calling injured workers and their claims "rhetoric" is insulting and should not be rewarded with another term in Bismarck.