Broken PromiseContrary to Sweetheart Cup's attorney's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 03, 1992

Broken Promise

Contrary to Sweetheart Cup's attorney's statement in Thomas Easton's "Hundreds of Retirees Sue for Health Benefits," (The Sun, Nov. 19) there is no question as to "what people were told, and what commitments were made."

Five members of Maryland Cup's former board of directors, who set the policies of Maryland Cup, have testified that Maryland Cup intended that company's retirement health care plans would cover retirees and their surviving spouses for as long as they lived, without reduction in benefits. They also, individually and personally, told Maryland Cup's employees so.

One of them, Arnold Shapiro, expressed a corporate philosophy which, sadly, is exceedingly rare in today's world:

"The success of the company was based on the fact that we had the loyalty and hard efforts of our employees. We didn't pay them the biggest salaries because we were still a big growing company, but, by golly, we took care of them in health insurance; we took care of them in important needs that they had . . . I mean, these people would go to hell for us. How could we not take care of them? And what came first, our taking care of them and they giving us their heart and souls or the other way around?"

Albert Shapiro, "Uncle Joe's" son, explained further:

"This was based on Joseph Shapiro's philosophy, my father, who drummed into us that the only way to succeed is to take care of your people. He said to us, 'Never forget, a promise is a promise. You make a commitment to your employee, it's forever,' and this is what he drummed into us and this is the philosophy that we employed."

In our experience in other cases of this type, it is normal for employers to try to create issues of fact where none exists. It is unusual for management, present or former, to openly support the claims of retirees. Indeed, one executive in another case compared retirees with lighting in unused spaces -- both can be "turned off" without adversely affecting the employer's productivity.

John T. Ward

Baltimore

The writer is the attorney for Maryland Cup retirees.

Media Coverage

I view the way in which the media covers the economy with dismay. Every day and every night, they air or print a doom-and-gloom scenario of our economic stability. Certainly, all isn't roses, but it is not all thorns either. Just for the sake of sensationalism, the media depict the United States as something less than a Third World economy.

Did anyone in the press ever think that by reporting the optimistic portion of what happens in our economy that they may, by accident, stimulate the appetite of the consumer?

The result might serve as the spark that just may jump-start the economy in the right direction. I feel the time has come for our media, both written and spoken, to focus on the main issues, not on obtaining better reviews for themselves.

Only when the whole truth is aired, and not biased by opinions on the part of the press, will the American people get a concise idea of what is happening.

Let's see a glimmer of light at the end of that long, dark tunnel. The American people, at best, deserve that.

Courtney C. Coulthard

Kingsville

Basis of Faith

This 73-year-old Roman Catholic man was grieved to read the Nov. 21 letter from Kevin Moser of Severn in The Sun.

Mr. Moser states that the "main" reason he has stayed in the Catholic Church is "the church's prophetic voice and action in issues of peace and justice."

The only reason that anyone should become -- and remain -- a Catholic is that the Catholic Church (including the Oriental rites as well as the Latin rite) is the only church founded by Jesus Christ, the divine son of God, who satisfied the justice of God for our sins by his death on the cross and gave us the efficacious means for our salvation, that is, the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass and the seven sacraments.

Mr. Moser writes further that his sister has recently decided that she cannot continue to attend Catholic masses until the Church acts "justly" and allows women to celebrate Mass as priests.

No individual Catholic has any right to be ordained a deacon, priest, or bishop. Therefore, there is no injustice in the Church's refusal to ordain any individual (man or woman) to any of these offices for any reason, including its official teaching that women are not eligible for ordination.

It appears that Mr. Moser and his sister may be victims of the generally poor doctrinal instruction and spiritual formation given in the Catholic schools of this country during the last 25 years. I invite them to seek orthodox instruction in the faith and sound spiritual direction.

For their own good and the good of the Church, I pray and hope that they will stay in the Church for the right reason, worship God with sincere hearts, and, if they so desire, serve the Church in ways which are in accord with its discipline.

Edmond E. Walsh

Baltimore

Legal Gambling

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