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LETTERS

Tight times for U.S. labor

October 20, 2005

Re "U.S. Labor Is in Retreat as Global Forces Squeeze Pay and Benefits,"

Oct. 18

This article reflects that the U.S. is a three-class system: the haves, the have-nots and the hads -- had a solid pension plan, had good job benefits, had an affordable healthcare plan, had faith in corporate management, had a belief that government would be competent enough to keep the U.S. competitive in the global economy ...

BRUCE GULDE

Ouray, Colo.

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There are two reasons labor is being squeezed in this country. The first is our trade agreements, which were written mainly by our own multinational corporations for their benefit so they could make billions on cheap labor in other countries. The second is our government, bought and paid for by these special-interest corporations. Wake up, America, before we become a cheap labor market.

CARL MELIN

Buena Park

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As a 30-year Teamster who will soon be retired, this couldn't be better news. I have a message for all the bottom feeders in this country who have ever undercut a union wage and those who have been distracted into voting against their economic interest by issues like guns, God and gays: Please continue to work harder for less so that I can live better for less.

DAVID HAWKINS

Anaheim Hills

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Decades ago, U.S. citizens received relatively high wages and paid relatively high prices for goods. In many foreign countries, citizens received much lower wages and paid much lower prices than U.S. prices for goods. Foreign countries could not sell their very low-cost goods in the U.S. because of our tariffs. Presidents Clinton and Bush have been eliminating those tariffs with NAFTA, CAFTA and free trade. Foreign goods are flooding the U.S., and U.S. manufacturers are fleeing to foreign countries to compete. Can you figure what we did wrong? Give us back our tariffs.

JOE GLEASON

Woodland Hills

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