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Play by the rules

November 04, 2009

Re "Political football," Opinion, Oct. 29

Unlike Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), I hate football. That does not stop me from agreeing with his criticism of bypassing California's environmental laws to build the City of Industry stadium.

Why, we ask, is Ed Roski not required to play by the rules? Perhaps when his team gets on the field, they will be allowed touchdowns on crossing the 10-yard line. Then again, maybe he is playing by the rules -- the new rules after the California Environmental Quality Act has been bypassed into irrelevancy.

Mr. Roski, are you available for consulting? A certain Mr. Polanski is asking.

Tom Budlong

Los Angeles

I represent working families in the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Those families are the backbone of the middle class. They've won jobs with living wages, good health insurance and retirement security.

I don't blame David Zirin for not knowing what I said at our news conference celebrating the law we championed to make a new stadium possible. The Times' coverage left out most of it. But, Mr. Zirin, please call me in the future before publishing what you think my position is.

You indicate that I believe that a $7.65-an-hour parking attendant's job is a middle-class job. But you do not mention that currently the overwhelming majority of such jobs are not unionized. None of us believe that creating more low-wage jobs is progress.

By pledging to support the right of stadium employees to form a union and agreeing to only hire unionized contractors to build the stadium, Roski has guaranteed middle-class jobs.

It is an undisputed fact that unionized workers, who have the legal right to collectively bargain for better working conditions and pay, make higher wages on average than nonunion workers.

The stadium project won our support, and deserves yours.

Maria Elena Durazo

Los Angeles

The writer is the executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

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