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Arco From the Inside

May 19, 1985

Until "Workers at Arco Speculate on Who Will Stay, Who Will Go" (May 6), I was unaware that The Times had renounced the virtues of objective journalism and become a teller of stories, much like the brothers Grimm. You know the theme--some not-so-nice events glossed over with pretty words and concluding with happily-ever-after.

I am not arguing the need of the company to reorganize. Arco, always a forerunner of trends, is responding as its management feels necessary in order to effectively compete in the oil industry.

Rather, the short-sighted, inadequate coverage of the issue is the focus of this letter and my anger.

I know many Arco employees whose lives have been drastically changed as a result of the reorganization and who are facing some very difficult alternatives. Surely the author of the story has the acumen to realize that only one perspective was being presented. What about those who were at the height of their careers, who will not be able to find comparable jobs, who never expected to have to reevaluate their professional and personal goals and the means to achieve them at such a late point in life, who will never be able to achieve them because they have been felled by circumstances beyond their control?

From another point of view, what of those who, like many of us, have mortgages to pay, children to send to college, and who now look forward to golden retirement years, supported by Social Security?

No, it is not a gambling pool to see who stays and who goes. It is a devastating, painful adjustment with many far-reaching effects. See if you can give it another try, and this time, apply some of the heartfelt sympathies that are heaped on our fellow man across the seas. This time, the suffering is right next door.

S. ELIZABETH MONTAGUE

South Pasadena

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