E.J. McMahon's column suggesting that the Triborough Amendment be repealed does not take into account that allowing the employer to drop benefits -- health insurance, pay scales, work hours, etc. -- after the expiration of a contract would encourage the employer to provoke a strike and never settle ["A dozen fiscal cliffs," Opinion, Sept. 9].

New York's Taylor Law, which includes the Triborough clause, prohibits a strike by public employees. One penalty for striking is two days' pay deducted for each day of a strike. The potential financial reward gives the employer a powerful incentive to provoke a strike.

An employer could interpret a strike as employees simply not accomplishing all that is normally accomplished, even if no work stoppage occurred. Penalties can include jail time as well.

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There is no level playing field without the Triborough Amendment. If a contract's provisions remain in force until a new contract is approved, both sides have no less or more than they mutually accepted in the past.

Paul Pepe, Massapequa