Labeling Unions

It seems clear to me that Mr. Anderson has adopted the frame of ultraconservative union bashers throughout his report. Witness: “. . . EAA boss . . .” and “. . . whose union controls 95 percent of the DWP work force, threatened to strike and forced the city to approve raises between 16 percent and 30 percent . . .” Under relentless repetition, the word “boss” has devolved into a canard intended to attack the trustworthiness of elected union leaders and to obfuscate the democratic elections that bring them to their positions. In no other context is an elected leader referred to as a “boss.”

Yes, some union leaders have abused their power and some unions have had questionable elections, but far fewer than in businesses and corporations. The federal government has stepped in to run a few union elections, and occasionally we see a union-officer perp walked into a court. Contrast these rare occasions with federal actions against business and corporate “bosses” doing perp walks.

—Don Wallace

I just want to congratulate Jeffrey Anderson for painting a very accurate picture of EAA and our membership [“Second Banana: Does Antonio have anything to fear from Robert Aquino’s white-collar union?,” December 2–8]. I have been a city engineer and an EAA voluntary dues payer for 15 years. After Proposition 75 was defeated last month, I felt that I should go to the union and find out where its political contributions were going so I could decide whether or not I should “opt out.” What I found was that EAA had not filed financial reports with the City Clerk’s Office since 2003. When I went to the EAA office and asked for a copy, they would not produce the public record. Because I told them that I would not hesitate to hire an attorney if they wouldn’t answer my questions, they threw me out of their office and told me that any further communications would be through lawyers.

I don’t know what people were thinking when they voted down Proposition 75.

It’s easy to collect dues and bribe politicians, but when it comes time to help employees in the workplace, forget it. These white-collar workers are more afraid of the union than the city management. I’m sure your staff heard that many times while researching this story.

—Ron Senger

Cinema Fax

F.X. Feeney repeated two common and constantly made errors in his article on the Cinematheque’s Technicolor retrospective [“In Glorious Technicolor,” December 2–8]. First, there was no such thing as “two-strip” Technicolor. While the “three-strip” camera did essentially expose the color information for each frame onto three separate black-and-white negatives, the earlier camera did this on one by running at double speed and exposing the two adjacent frames at once (both processes were far more complex than that, of course).

Secondly, with regard to the 1956 Around the World in 80 Days, while a second unit did travel around the world for scenic shots, the main actors only went to Paris, Spain and Japan, with the rest of the picture shot on sound stages in Hollywood or London and on various Hollywood back lots. For example, the Indian jungle scenes were shot on the old Fox back lot, now Century City, and the balloon takes off from the front of the cathedral façade built for the 1922 Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was then still up on the Universal back lot; if you look carefully in a POV shot from the balloon, you can see a glimpse of Stage 27 and the L.A. River!

—Rick Mitchell
Los Angeles

Capital Offense

It was disgusting to see the picture of Snoop Dogg giving the fist salute to rally for Tookie Williams [“Saving Grace,” December 2–8], who is a convicted murderer of four people, including a child. So, Raymond “The Hatchet Man” Locket, who is a member of the murderous Westside Harlem Crips, said that if “Took die, the city fry.”

Isn’t there enough proof in writing to arrest this creep for inciting a riot, especially when other members of gangs admitted in this article that they are going to riot if the scheduled execution takes place, thus putting many hundreds and maybe thousands of innocent people in harm’s way as they always do?

—Kim Lee
Los Angeles


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