Having been a member of the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for over 28 years for Verizon (since retired), I am very disappointed with the way they now operate.

I understand that they’ve collected over $200,000 in donations to help striking members. It sounds like a good deed to some, unless you know the facts.

Fact is that each striking member received a check for only $100. The IBEW insists that if a member needs additional help, the member needs to submit their financial statements, medical statements, whether they had prescriptions filled and just about their life history.

Now to me – and this is my opinion – it’s none of their business, and it’s personal information.

Sure, they handed out some toys and presents for the holiday. But shouldn’t they have given more than $100 to each member? You do the math and divide $200,000 by 1,900 members and see what you come up with.

It’s sad to say, but all these generous people who donated to this fund were thinking they were helping the strikers. But to the contrary – they were lining the pockets of the IBEW. So again I am hoping that people ask the IBEW: “Where did my donation really go, and to whom?”

And to all you striking members of the IBEW and the Communications Workers of America, hang in there and God bless you all. I have been through three strikes in my time working for the telephone company (under three of its different names).

When one woman complained to FairPoint, the repairman (a replacement contract worker) came out and gave her the wire and said, “Here’s all you need. You can fix it yourself.” Now there’s a non-union worker for you.

Frank Teras

New Gloucester