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An Increase in Freedom for Unions

August 18, 2003

Thank you for David Macaray's Aug. 13 commentary, "Let Unions Operate in a 'Free Market.' " Anyone with eyes to see and a mind to understand has seen the organized labor movement deteriorate within the last 30 years. Complex, top-heavy legislation has created a climate where, on a case-by-case basis, management -- galvanized by the notion that the American worker is too unsophisticated to decode its strategy -- is permitted to connect the dots to compromise contract agreements while union officials look the other way. Each case has weakened organized labor until unions have been reduced to pathetic, toothless "dinosaurs."

If employers were fair and ethical there would be no need for labor unions to exist. However, the average employer has no sense of decency to appeal to. And Congress interested in fashioning a level playing field? Please! If this generation of workers forsakes the long, hard battles that their union brothers and sisters have won for them, their children and grandchildren will be engaged in even longer, harder struggles for just wages and working conditions.

Joyce C. Sheffie

Los Angeles

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You should have printed Macaray's commentary, in which he advocates repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, next to "American Racing to Cut 300 Area Jobs" (Business, Aug. 12). American Racing Equipment, a manufacturer of custom wheels, is shifting its production to Mexico to cut costs. According to the article, the employees are unionized, and some earn as much as $31 an hour. Gee, I wonder what the union bosses will tell these newly unemployed union members now?

Gregg Daniels

Canyon Country

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I agree with Macaray that we should repeal the Taft-Hartley Act. But let's do the entire job. Repeal the Wagner Act and all other acts/laws governing the union-management relationship. And certainly Congress should not pass any new acts such as the one making it illegal for striking workers to be permanently replaced by scabs. Labor would then be able to operate in a free market without government interference. However, management would also enjoy the same freedom.

Arnold Pellman

Orange

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