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Straighten Own House

March 29, 1987

Armand Hammer flies all over the world in his private jetliner to promote his image as a human rights activist, benefactor, peacemaker and collector of some of the world's great art.

He should make a flight to Dakota City, Neb., where his Occidental Petroleum Corp. operates a giant meatpacking company with sub-human working conditions ("Injury Rate Soaring, Workers at Meatpacking Plant Say," March 2). Shades of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," the expose of the meatpacking industry in Chicago early this century. It suggests that the vicious, degrading exploitation of meatpacking workers hasn't changed much in 80 years.

Hammer's workers at his IBP subsidiary have been locked out of their jobs since December for seeking their first general wage increase in five years. Meanwhile, as beef prices declined in recent years, the company's workers have faced an ever-quickening production line--it's called speedup--causing many injuries.

Come home, Mr. Hammer, from Moscow, Beijing or wherever you are and straighten out your slaughterhouse in Dakota City.

LU HAAS

Pacific Palisades

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