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Workers Would Feel Pinch of Arbitration

October 19, 2003

Requiring employees to sign arbitration provisions is unconscionable ("Arbitration Agreements OKd," Oct. 1). It pulls the rug out from under the very people who were to be protected by the Civil Rights Acts. It is the hourly-wage worker flipping burgers or selling stereos who needs protection, not McDonald's or Good Guys.

Job seekers often are unaware of the provision or don't understand its ramifications. Job seekers are desperate in this economy and will sign anything.

Sure, employers prefer arbitration because they can select the arbitrator (a pro-employer kinda guy) and they have the money that arbitration costs. But the little guy can't afford the filing fees ($1,200 or more through an arbitration association versus $300 in court), can't afford to pay the arbitrator ($500 an hour versus a free judge) and, of course, still faces attorney's fees. There is no judicial oversight and no right of appeal.

It's beginning to approach unconstitutional proportions in creating a chilling effect on the rights to redress and petition. But to everyone's detriment, corporations have taken over our governance to a point where they have more rights than humans.

Stephany Yablow

North Hollywood

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