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Labor movement?

September 08, 2007

Re "Labor relations," editorial, Sept. 3

How interesting to consider the evolution over the years of The Times concerning the labor movement. What a shame that, over the many years of labor-management relations, workers and others have died trying to obtain some of the profits that generously enrich capitalist management and individual entrepreneurs, The Times included.

We accept the legitimate claims of labor now, but how disgusting to see the old editorials talk of "strike-breakers" who "endure," the "potato peelers' union in a big hotel gets sick and tired some day at the very sight of spuds and decides to strike" and a "tiny well-placed minority can paralyze a great industry."

Labor supply and demand never was a fair way to reward workers, and it isn't now. Labor is the last wall of defense for the common, sometimes undereducated worker whose honest labor has for many years been a defining icon for those trying to support their families. The inequitable sharing of wealth is surely a harbinger of dark days ahead.

Ralph Mitchell

Monterey Park

As an elementary school teacher who also volunteers her little free time as a union activist, I have noticed little respect or a cooling from The Times with regard to labor.

The paper has repeatedly and recently classified working people like me negatively by labeling us with the title of "union bosses." I have found your stance to be profoundly "anti" the majority of citizens who do most of the essential work in our community. Whatever respect and appreciation you have for us has come from the empowerment people in the labor movement struggled and even died to obtain. Your understanding of how unions work is practically nil.

My organization follows the principles of a democratic republic to a degree I no longer see in our government because of its corporate bosses. Perhaps The Times would have more readers if it presented the issues of labor with more balance.

Madeline Shapiro


East Whittier

Education Assn.

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