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Watching Health-Care Benefits Slip Away

November 07, 2003

I find it frightening that the standard for employee pay and benefits in the grocery trade may be set by the rock-bottom discounters, the same stores that count on rapid employee turnover or right-to-work laws to avoid unionization of their employees. The grocery chains whose employees are on strike have provided middle-class pay and benefits up to now. If the grocery employees' pay and benefits can be eroded over presumed competition from the rock-bottom discounters, whose pay and benefits are safe? There is likely to be a ripple effect from such cuts. As the middle class disappears (and executive pay keeps climbing at astronomical rates), can societal destabilization be far behind?

Sally Pataky

Whittier

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Re "Outshout the Drug Lobby," editorial, Nov. 3: For the most part, people who work for companies that pay for their health coverage don't know and don't care what that coverage costs. It's just that indifference that gives lobbyists their exclusive opportunity to influence Congress. Perhaps if everyone were responsible for his or her own health coverage, Congress would have a much louder voice to listen to.

Edd Ruskowitz

Tustin

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