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Work on the Waterfront Should Be Well Paid

October 06, 2002

Re James Johnson's Oct. 1 letter on union dockworkers: The Pacific Maritime Assn., an entity composed largely of foreign-owned shipping companies, makes billions off the backs of American workers and would like nothing better than to pay them peanuts while charging retailers the same cost for their cargo, pocketing the difference.

The American workers are entitled to a share of the wealth they create. Longshoring is no walk in the park; there have been six work-related deaths on the docks this year alone. As for teachers and police, there is no doubt they deserve more money, but their salaries do not come from foreign profiteers, they come from our taxes. Most people are not willing to accept a tax increase for any reason.

Matt Vand

Long Beach

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I have an undergraduate degree in engineering and an MBA, have never made more than $70,000 per year and have been out of work since last November. Would I cross a picket line down at the waterfront? In a heartbeat.

Roger Johnson

Long Beach

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