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'Time for a Truce'

December 04, 1988

While we agree with the title of your editorial "Time for a Truce" (Nov. 16), we take strong exception to your observation that the so-called "compromise proposal" is the solution.

As a matter of fact, we would characterize the proposal as a "surrender agreement" on the part of the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

There are so many loopholes in the proposal (not the least of which is that the Proposition A discretionary funds are committed only for one year) that for the district to accept it would be a total abdication of responsibility.

The San Gabriel Valley Transportation Zone, which is considered by some to be a linchpin in the negotiations, is not something the district can yield to at will. There remains a question as to whether the district has the legal right to turn over such a major segment of its service, as well as its obligation, contractually and under law, to assure that the rights of its employees are protected.

We believe it will be necessary for the Legislature to take the action which the two parties have been unable to do for themselves if this dispute is to be finally resolved. Hopefully, if such legislation is passed, it will not be vetoed by the governor as was the case in 1987.

However, the main issue is being avoided by all and that is that the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission is withholding funds from the district which could thoroughly disrupt service to people dependent on it as early as January.

The release of those funds, unconditionally, should be a prerequisite to any negotiations of a compromise proposal.

EARL CLARK

General Chairman

United Transportation Union

Pasadena

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