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Letters: Garcetti and union bargaining

March 19, 2013

Re "Garcetti's labor cred," Editorial, March 14

There is nothing wrong with an honest disagreement, but there is everything wrong with a dishonest one. As a City Council member, mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti voted to ignore provisions of existing collective bargaining agreements that he had supported. That was dishonest.

The Times asserts that what Garcetti did was not as bad as what Republican governors have done. We disagree. Republicans who attacked collective bargaining acted to strip workers of their legal rights and said so. Garcetti ignored those rights and pretended he didn't do it.

Garcetti says that his vote to change a collectively bargained agreement was justified because his changes don't impact current employees, but only future employees. This ignores the truth — every collective bargaining agreement becomes the "bill of rights" for every new employee when they are hired.

Garcetti's dishonesty on this issue is a major factor in our deliberations on who is the best choice for mayor.

Maria Elena Durazo

Los Angeles

The writer is the executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, whose political committee recommended an endorsement for mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.

Comparing a vote that does not affect any current union member and does not prevent future employees from joining existing or new unions to the acts of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is completely unfair and inappropriate. Greuel should be ashamed of such a vicious and misleading tactic.

I say this as one who is generally a strong supporter of unions. Indeed, I am a former member of a public-employee union and the husband of a current one.

Norman H. Green

Los Angeles

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