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Union Dockworkers United in Labor Dispute

October 01, 2002

By locking out the longshoremen not once but twice (after publicly threatening to do so several times), management has made it clear that it never intended to sit down at the table with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and bargain in good faith (Sept. 30). Rather, its plan all along has been to get the federal government involved in these negotiations in the hope that the feds could succeed in pulling off what it (the Pacific Maritime Assn.) has been unable to do, i.e., break the longshoremen's union. But that's not going to happen. Even invoking the 80-day "cooling-off" period mandated by the Taft-Hartley Act will not prevent union dockworkers from honoring their oath of solidarity. In this age of sellouts, corporate betrayals and phony patriotism, how refreshing is that?

David Macaray

Rowland Heights

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It's very hard to have sympathy for these incredibly overpaid blue-collar workers who are making $80,000 to $150,000 a year. I am sure they work very hard at their jobs and have families to support, but there are many others in professions who also serve the public, such as teachers and police, who make half that amount. Furthermore, these inflated salaries cost all of us money, through higher prices on merchandise. The PMA should stand its ground.

James Johnson

West Hollywood

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A billion dollars a day is being lost because of the lockout of longshoremen by the PMA--and the shadow presence of the Bush administration. Each hour is critical to the nation's economy, yet the negotiations start in the afternoon and hardly seem to be in good faith. For the union to protect its workers is the raison d'etre of the ILWU. In light of the billions of dollars generated because of the work by longshoremen, it seems little enough to ask of the PMA to come to an agreement, and soon.

Lorraine B. Kirk

Rancho Palos Verdes

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