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Everybody's Column

Why doesn't Delphi cut its managers' salaries?

In the July 6 News story about Delphi, Delphi President Ron Pirtle was quoted as saying, "Frankly, it is difficult to understand why the very agreement which affirms Lockport as a 'keep site' would be so overwhelmingly rejected." He continued, "The resulting message appears to be that this work force is unwilling to change, even when it means they could save their own business."

Please let me clarify it for Pirtle. His cuts to the traditional workers at Lockport have cut through skin, tissue and muscle, right down to the bone. Please explain why we should, in some instances, take a 50 percent pay cut after already giving up so much while upper management receives $400 million in retention bonuses from the bankruptcy courts?

Some employees will have to sell their homes and cars, worry about getting their kids through college or file for bankruptcy while Pirtle and his management team make millions in salaries and bonuses.

If he wants cooperation from the traditional workers in Lockport, he can do his share by cutting management staffing and salaries equal to what we have had to endure. If he can't understand our frustration about that, then shame on him.

Donald P. Cialone Jr.

Buffalo

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Don't use corn for fuel while many are starving

Perhaps I have missed the sensational headlines and bulletins that would accompany the epochal achievement of the banishment of hunger from our planet. Surely the specter of animated skeletons covered in flies in Africa and other Third World regions must have been vanquished? How else may one explain the scheme, supported with tax dollars by politicians eager to curry favor (and votes) of the agricultural regions of the United States, to turn corn into ethanol to feed our insatiable thirst for fuel to run our automobiles?

Surely, in the absence of the demise of hunger, our collective sense of morality would never countenance turning desperately needed food into fuel to prolong a wasteful lifestyle that clearly cannot be long supported by this earth.

Shouldn't every hungry mouth be fed before we'd ever consider turning grain into gas? Anyone who believes there is no such thing in economics as a market failure should take heed. Morality does count. The developed world can bid up the price of corn so that it makes economic sense to deprive the starving of a meal, and liquify this food into ethanol, but it is definitely the wrong thing to do.

Daniel J. Phister

Tonawanda

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Other manufacturers are better than Toyota

A recent edition of The News carried a story about how Toyota trains its employees to keep up its "vaunted" quality in assembling automobiles. "Vaunted" is a word that means "much boasted of," according to Webster. The story goes to great length describing Toyota's processes, which seemingly could not possibly be matched by other car manufacturers.

This story really got my attention, since I recognized that it was designed to let the world think that only Toyota can build such perfect machines. It did not mention that Toyota has recalled more of its cars than Ford and General Motors combined. Its "vaunted" Tundra copycat pickup is a flop already, with several serious recalls. Yes, broken camshafts are serious flaws. This is all public information. The truth is that Toyota's quality has gone in the tank, and my experience in the auto manufacturing business tells me it will be a long time correcting that trend. Finally, why don't we ever read about Toyota's problems, instead of some trumped-up baloney about its infallibility? What will the next story be? I suspect that we may be told that Chinese food is good for people and dogs.

Don Rust

Orchard Park

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Americans have lost their representation

A July 5 News editorial illustrated how closely government and business have become intertwined. I see it as sovietizing our economy, and we know how well that worked in eastern Europe.

In the general run of incentives, there is too much room for political considerations where campaign contributions flow from corporations to state-level officials, who then create the laws where favoritism becomes the rule.

Closer to home, industrial development agencies operate outside of any voter or constitutional control. Our birthright of representative government is being sold out from under us. Government cannot give some benefit incentive unless it takes the equal from someone else. For every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

Representative government and equal protection of the laws are sacrificed on the altar of phantom economics.

Donald G. Hobel

North Tonawanda

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Our region already has lots of qualified workers

Each time I read an article about couples coming back to Buffalo, I become more elated. However, when I read the article about the Stuarts from Michigan, I became very angry. Not with this couple's circumstances, but with the comment by SKM Group President Susan Kerrigan- Meany. She said, "It's hard to find people [in Buffalo] with the amount of experience that he has [Don Stuart]."

This is part of our problem in Western New York. When an executive is needed, the search is taken out of our area. When local companies realize that the experience and loyalty they need is right in their back yard, then maybe we will be able to keep people in Western New York rather than sending them to other states that appreciate the qualities our residents have to offer. I know for a fact that there are highly qualified residents who are or have been overlooked by companies in Western New York in favor of people from out of state.

Terri Ferrari

Orchard Park

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Clinton continues to disappoint us

Many, like myself, were eagerly awaiting Sen. Hillary Clinton's reply to President Bush's commutation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, since her husband had pardoned 140 individuals tried and convicted of various violations of law. Hillary did not disappoint us, coming up with the weakest excuse possible, referring to the time in office as a deciding factor, since Clinton was leaving and Bush still had a year to go. This weak excuse coincides with her many failed promises over the years.

Among these is her promise to stop the war if elected. In essence, she is saying that the killing of our men and women serving in Iraq must continue until she is president. Based on her decline in the polls, it would appear that some are taking a second look at Hillary's Whitewater involvement and the fact that what she promises and what she accomplishes are very far apart.

Clinton A. Salmon

Chaffee

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