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Inside the grocery battles

June 29, 2007

Re "Another employee's butchered benefits," column, June 27

Steve Lopez is campaigning for the potential strikers of the grocery chains with his tear-jerk article about a meat cutter in a bind financially. By his reference, he also is promoting a group trying to get the government to force the grocery chains to give their employees more money and benefits -- socialism, yeah!

The man, with his 3-year-old son, came out of a shelter in Long Beach to take an entry-level job at Vons for $7.55 as an apprentice meat cutter, and in two years moved up to head cutter at $17.38 an hour.

It looks as though Vons has given this man a real hand up by offering him this opportunity to pull himself out of a financial hole he dug for himself.

It is not Vons' fault that the man made poor choices. Vons does not owe him a living wage to suit his desires just because he would like to have it.

Go on strike. Make millionaires out of the union crowd so they can support a political party bent on making this country a socialist failure like Russia and the struggling European Union.

ROBERT J. CALVERT

Palos Verdes Estates

*

Where is the outrage when a hardworking, fully employed man (working for corporate America) cannot afford decent healthcare and housing for himself and his toddler son? Perhaps we are not only the wealthiest country in the world but the most morally bankrupt.

LYNN F. KESSLER

Sherman Oaks

*

What The Times couldn't report about losses to grocery store chains are the number of people like me who never returned after the strike. I'd shopped at the same store for 20-plus years. I went there because I knew the people who worked there on a first-name basis. I consider them part of my community and, therefore, part of my extended family.

So I go a little out of my way and pay a little more to shop where I know my friends are treated with the respect they deserve. When the chief executives factor their bottom line, they always forget that people are the most important part of that equation, and that people like me care about those people more than I care about their six-figure salaries.

JON CAVANAUGH

Agoura Hills

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