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Legislation Is Needed to End MTA Strikes

November 23, 2003

The Times' Nov. 18 editorial ("A Permanent MTA Solution") on how to avert future Metropolitan Transportation Authority strikes was cute and folksy when it stated that L.A. Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa believed the end of the work stoppage was near when he thought MTA board President Zev Yaroslavsky and union chief Neil Silver "were going to exchange recipes for matzo ball soup."

Let's get real: Both parties to this crippling 35-day disaster have demonstrated twice in the last three years that no commitment to arbitration will ever happen.

The only way is for the California Legislature to protect commuters by passing into law a measure that prohibits strikes and compels all parties concerned, after normal negotiations and cooling-off periods, to submit to binding arbitration. The 400,000 riders who bore the brunt of the strike will state they can function easier without police or fire protection, or both, than public transportation. It must not happen again.

Sid Skolnik

West Hollywood

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