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I’m not passing judgment on the merits of either side’s case in the dispute between the orchestra’s board and the musicians. But, unlike many big businesses, the board can’t move to automation, thankfully, to save on labor costs. So, first and foremost, it should begin renegotiating with the idea in mind that the human beings who comprise the orchestra are going to cost, at the very minimum, half the expenses of one of the more worthy endeavors we humans undertake.
Kevin Driscoll, St. Paul
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A key fact has been ignored in news coverage of the labor disputes involving the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. For years, workers throughout the country have been hit by pay and benefit cuts like those being forced on the musicians. But when the workers in question are blue-collar rather than black-tie, the news stories, if written at all, are small and often at the bottom of an inside page — even though those workers would think they’d died and gone to heaven if they made anywhere near as much money as the musicians do.
I take no pleasure in the musicians’ plight, nor in the loss of music for the community, or, I should say, that segment of the community that can afford tickets. But I wish more people would have more sympathy for “ordinary” workers when our brutally flawed capitalistic system hurts them far more than the musicians have been or will be hurt.
Steven Schild, Winona, Minn.
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Cleveland complacency not typical of profession
I, for one, take offense to the May 11 editorial cartoon alluding the dispatcher indifference to the emergency call in Cleveland. I realize that we do have some dispatchers who could be so coldhearted, but I would say that 99 percent of them are caring and willing to help.
Of course, they receive “crank” calls, and I assume the dispatchers are versed enough to weed them out, but the grumpy one who was involved with the three women in Ohio should be immediately dismissed with no further discussion.
Jim Mulvaney, New Hope
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Trouble numbers aren’t really so high
There is another way to look at the 20 lawyers out of 25,000 or so in Minnesota who have been disciplined this year (“Lawyers land in trouble more often,” May 12). That is only 0.08 percent, not a very high percentage. As for the lawyer who was disciplined for billing time spent having sex with a client, we may not have all the facts. The rules allow lawyers to charge higher rates for a specialty in which he or she has expertise.
James M. Dunn, Edina
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.