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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Support for Strikers on Health-Care Issue

October 25, 2003

At first I was disheartened by "For Some, Strikes Are No Big Deal" (Oct. 22), but as I read on, I became angry. It is a gross exaggeration to assume that because Angelenos are not personally affected by the strikes, it must follow that they don't care. Many of us who are inconvenienced are refusing to cross picket lines out of concern and in support of the strikers. If I did not care, I would go to the major chain that is a mere two blocks from my house instead of driving to a more expensive one across town. I know many people who have been giving rides to stranded friends and family who usually ride the buses and are at risk of losing their jobs or flunking out of college. The people interviewed who claim not to care are fooling themselves by believing all of us share their apathetic attitude.

Cameron Robinson

Pasadena

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I find it unconscionably shortsighted of the supermarket union to strike at this particular time, especially when so many Americans are unable to find employment to support their families. In addition, the strike is untimely considering the plight of the soldiers overseas who are attempting to preserve our freedom and safety.

Kelly Palmer

Simi Valley

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Re "Health Care Offer to Strikers Looks Good to at Least One Man," Oct. 22: So, Jim Chavez wants grocery clerks to "wake up to reality and start forking over good dough for lousy coverage, as he has to"? That solves nothing and brings the bar for health-care coverage ever lower. Chavez needs to wake up and see that it isn't about making sure that no one has a better deal than he does but rather that everyone gets a better deal. Let it start here.

Kathy Cromar

West Hills

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Sure, I support the workers in their fight for better health coverage. When they win their fight, will they support the 40 million others who need universal health care or will they walk away saying, "Well, I got mine, now you get yours"? Any way you look at it, we need a single-payer system, and sooner or later we will see big business asking for it as the lesser of all evils.

James Honigman MD

Los Angeles

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To solve the disparate-labor-cost problem claimed by Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons, why don't they work with and help fund the union's efforts to organize the employees of their nonunion competitors? That way all employees will receive the same benefits and wages as the employees of union stores. This will make the cost of doing business in regard to employee compensation the same for all, and they can compete on their abilities to do business efficiently, and not on the backs of their employees.

Lanny Swerdlow

Palm Springs

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