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Letters: Two sides of the union issue

June 19, 2012

Re "Union job gives woman bootstraps she needed," Column, June 15

Tarita Ventura's story is indeed a great example of the power of unions to create good wages and health coverage for workers, some of whom wouldn't have a voice otherwise.

However, the problem for us taxpayers is when the public services we pay for are connected to unions that protect incompetent workers from being fired and allow pay spiking near retirement to create out-of-control pensions despite declining revenues and huge deficits.

Jennifer Childs

Los Angeles

Hector Tobar gives some valuable insight in telling Ventura's story and how she struggled to take care of her four children no matter how difficult. She represents the lives of so many Angelenos.

And like so many Americans who rise above poverty, pay their own way and give their children healthy lives, it is done because they have health insurance, earn decent wages and have a retirement that will keep them as productive members of the economy long after they retire.

They are union members. They pay into their retirement and health plans; they work with management; and during bad times they take salary reductions and pay more into their benefit plans to protect their company or city services. They are not the enemy of our economy; instead, they help to keep it secure. Tobar points this out so eloquently.

Roy Stone

Los Angeles

The writer is president of the Librarians' Guild.

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