Effective StrikesEditor: In his Aug. 1 letter, Charles A...


August 07, 1991

Effective Strikes

Editor: In his Aug. 1 letter, Charles A. Frainie states that Virginia's so-called "right-to-work" laws prohibit effective strikes in that state. Fortunately for the working people of Virginia, that is not true.

A case in point is the mine workers' strike against the Pittston Coal Co. In 1989, Pittston unilaterally cut off health-care benefits to retirees, many of whom suffered from diseases resulting from a lifetime of underground work of the coal seams for Pittston.

The union struck. With the help and support of the miners, their families, the clergy, other unions and the community at large, the strike was won.

Mr. Frainie may rejoice in the undue burden placed upon workers' rights as a result of so-called "right-to-work" laws, but it is the National Labor Relations Act that allows employers to permanently replace strikers, which should please him.

There are those who believe that there is no such thing as a just strike and that any means is justified toward the goal of halting strikes. History recorded that Mussolini made the trains run on time. But at what cost?

It is a tribute to American workers that despite "right-to-work" laws, the threat of permanent replacement and a hostile administration, they continue to stand up for one another against the Pittstons, Greyhounds and Frank Lorenzos of this world -- even in Virginia.

Thomas M. Bradley Jr.


The writer is the assistant regional director of Region 3, AFL-CIO.


Hateful Views

Editor: In the article, "Hate programming comes into the open -- on the air," by Ellen Uzelac (The Sun, July 21), your paper again exposes its one-sided view on the issue of racism. The writer states that "the most frequent victims of hate violence are blacks, Hispanics, Southern Asians, Jews and gay people." Does your writer really believe that Caucasians are not frequent victims of hate violence, and does she, by omission of the mention of the white race as victims, suggest that we are the perpetrators of such violence?

Ms. Uzelac appears to be blaming white supremacist groups for sowing hate, but fails to mention the many black organizations that promote black viewpoints that could also be seen as sowing hate.

The Sun is a sower of hate, for it does not present a fair picture of what is taking place in society. It does not report the news or viewpoints without bias, and it appears to be catering only to the views of its black readership.

Eugene Cross.



MIAs Probe

Editor: Commenting on photographic evidence that three MIAs survived in Southeast Asia, Brent Scowcroft denied its creditability. This very senior official speaks for the same administration which gave us, ''Read my lips -- no new taxes!''

Meanwhile, a third-level representative of our wimpish State Department junkets about Bangkok and Vientiane, exchanging smiles and handshakes with inscrutable nonentities.

When do we investigate?

John H. O'Brien.

York, Pa.


Three Cheers

Editor: Three cheers to the girls who refused to play the co-ed team in the Baltimore County girls' softball tournament.

For the past three years I have pitched for a Baltimore City women's softball team which is racially mixed and which plays teams comprised primarily of women of color, and I have found that the joy of sports usually transcends the boundaries of race.

I have also been injured several times in games against both women's and co-ed teams and have found that there are dangers inherent in softball -- as in any sport -- regardless of the sex of the opposing batter.

It appears that the underlying problem runs deeper than either race or personal safety.

The girls competing in the tournament were doing so with the understanding that it was to be a "girls-only" event and were therefore enjoying a rare opportunity to forge a secure identity as athletes and as women. The arrival of a "girls' " team fielding several boys unexpectedly robbed them of this opportunity.

If any reader thinks that I am exaggerating, they need only reread the comments from the players. "Females are delicate, and I wouldn't want to hurt any one of them." "Why would a boy want to play on a girls' team? I mean, wouldn't he feel like a wimp?"

Unfortunately, these attitudes are very pervasive and extremely destructive. Until women are viewed as valid human beings, they need spaces such as women's and girls' softball to allow them to develop their confidence and their capabilities. They also need to be dealt with honestly and to have their decisions respected -- such as whether to play against boys on a "girls' " softball team.

Candy S. DeBerry.



Gospel Message

Editor: I write to express support for the authors of the Baltimore Declaration for their courage and honesty in raising important issues concerning the Christian faith in our society.

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