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Don't judge striking grocery workers so hastily I am...

November 21, 2003

Don't judge striking grocery workers so hastily

I am saddened and frustrated by the constant picket-bashing I see

submitted by the readers.

Saddened, because of the public's lack of compassion toward these

workers. I hear of, and have been witness to, people going out of

their way to show their disgust and disrespect for hard-working

employees of multimillion-dollar corporations, who are trying to

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maintain their way of life and their financial security. What

happened to helping out your fellow man?

Frustrated, because the people who take it on themselves to put

pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) are not in possession of all the

facts. It is not just about paying for health coverage. In fact, if

you ask any grocery employee, I'm sure they would be willing to pitch

in for their coverage. What they are opposed to, however, is the

company bringing in new employees at a lower wage, who get all the

hours. It is about the companies freezing their pension

contributions.

Before you form an opinion about these people, maybe you should

consider what you know they do.

They work holidays, weekends and nights. They have gone almost 10

years without any substantial raise. They are at the mercy of the

store manager (who is non-union) to give them any amount of hours

with the possibility of said hours going from 40 one week to 24 the

next.

They work hard and deal with the public nonstop throughout their

day. How many times have you seen a customer be rude to a grocery

clerk? For this, they definitely deserve the right to try and

maintain their work conditions. You will notice that the grocery

employees are not asking for anything additional. Just to maintain

what they were promised upon the start of their employment.

CHERYL CRUZ

Costa Mesa

Corona del Mar is not the model of a clean campus

Rat infestation at Corona del Mar High School? Why am I not

surprised? I invite anyone, especially Corona del Mar parents, to

visit the campus and ask to see the quad area right after lunch. The

filth is awful.

Students don't bother to throw their lunch trash into the cans

that are conveniently located -- within throwing distance -- from the

tables where they sit. Seagulls have a field day as students scurry

to their fifth-period classes.

I taught at Corona del Mar from 1978 to 1981. The trash on campus

was an issue even then. In 1981, I was hired to teach at Pacifica

High in Garden Grove and was so surprised to see that the Corona del

Mar and the Pacifica high campuses were identical, designed by the

same architect and built by the same contractor. One huge difference,

though: Pacifica was (and still is) squeaky clean in comparison.

In the early '90s, I attended a teachers' conference on the Corona

del Mar campus on a Saturday morning, and the campus was filthy.

Trash and food from Friday was still strewn about the quad area.

Inside the same building where I had taught, the rugs in the hallways

were decaying and stained from spilled drink and food. I was aghast.

I applaud the students who were concerned enough to circulate and

sign the petition presented to the Newport-Mesa Unified School

District board of trustees. I recommend that they also sponsor a

campus-wide campaign to get rid of the garbage after the nutrition

break and lunch. (Perhaps the Associated Student Body could pitch in

and buy some more trashcans.) The day students finally take some

owners' pride in their school, the rats will disappear.

FLO MARTIN

Costa Mesa

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