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Garcetti's role in wage debate

March 31, 2007

Re "Thanks, don't come again," editorial, March 24

The editorial about Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti seems to be saying that we should punish him for actually doing something about a cause he believes in. That seems bizarre to me. Garcetti and some of his colleagues are helping workers at one airport hotel stop harassment and win a reasonable wage. In a city in which it is increasingly impossible to live if you make less than $100,000 a year, that seems right. As a resident of Garcetti's district, I'm glad he's standing up for this issue; people can stay at plenty of other hotels in the city. The city should accommodate big corporations that bring in business, but only to a certain extent.

MICHELLE CHIHARA

Los Angeles

*

Garcetti's actions in sending a letter to previous patrons of the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel is just plain wrong. His official status precludes his involvement in a legal dispute, whether he is a champion or opponent of labor. We have to be ashamed of the overt, probably illegal intervention of an ostensibly neutral party in this dispute. If this is an example of the judgment he shows in his usual duties on the City Council, then he should be recalled.

DERICK A. BALL

Rancho Palos Verdes

*

According to your editorial page, Garcetti and his colleagues shouldn't pass laws to help workers earn a living wage. You say if workers stand up for themselves and organize a boycott of their own hotel, Garcetti and his colleagues shouldn't help them. Is it the position of your editorial page that council members shouldn't help workers? If it is, you should say that. In the meantime, I disagree, and I'm glad Garcetti and his colleagues do too.

MARA EATON

Los Angeles

*

Garcetti should be applauded for doing what is right by the workers at the LAX Hilton. How quickly we forget that the reason there is a boycott at this hotel is because Hilton has allegedly threatened pro-union workers with physical violence and in other ways met the workers' organizing efforts with harassment and intimidation.

These are men and women who, despite earning poverty wages and despite the lack of affordable health insurance, continue to work hard to make the LAX Hilton profitable.

We should thank Garcetti and others who have the courage to stand with people who work hard for poverty wages.

MARIA ELENA DURAZO

Executive secretary

treasurer, Los Angeles

County Federation of

Labor, AFL-CIO

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