The elimination of good jobs is hardly progress

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Since we just celebrated the American worker on Labor Day, I must comment on the recent Post-Gazette editorial "Goodbye, Tollbooth: E-ZPass Will Soon Retire a Turnpike Icon" (Aug. 30). I am a retired, proud president of a teachers union and have always represented the underdog and the oppressed.

Regarding your "joyous" editorial about eliminating the Pennsylvania turnpike tollbooths, I think it is a horrible idea and typical thinking of big business: Eliminate good jobs by replacing them with E-ZPass. We have never used E-ZPass and don't plan to. Every time we go through a tollbooth we tell the employee how happy we are with his or her work and that we will fight to keep these jobs safe by urging others not to fall for the E-ZPass proposal.

The editorial mentioned that there are 76 tollbooths along the turnpike. If each one is manned for all three shifts, you would eliminate 228 good jobs. Already there have been many jobs lost with this shift to E-ZPass. We have never encountered a rude tollbooth worker, and often they help us with directions if we are unsure.

This move reminds me of another selfish move by the powers that be: the failed attempt for the privatization of the state liquor store system. These workers are also very helpful to customers and make a decent salary. It seems that no one in Pennsylvania is allowed to make a living wage, not the tollbooth workers or the state store employees. I urge everyone to think twice about eliminating these proud people who only want a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. And, by the way, a fair day's pay is not minimum wage.

BARBARA LAGOON
Lower Burrell


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