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Letter: Balance power in labor talks

E.J. McMahon's column suggesting that the Triborough Amendment be repealed does not take into account that allowing the employer to drop benefits -- health insurance, pay scales, work hours, etc.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.

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