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What unionizing did for overworked butchers

To the editor: My father and three of his brothers went into the meat business in Los Angeles during the 1930s. When I was a little girl I remember how, after dinner, my dad would soak his sore left hand. ("Celebrated butcher carves out niche in L.A.'s culinary scene," Feb. 13)

Butchers routinely cut their hands. Sometimes, they lost the ends of their index fingers on the hand that doesn't hold the knife. That happened to my dad and his father.

In those days butchers had to be very fast in order to get work. The working conditions for butchers became better after they formed a union, of which my father was a founding member. My family never crosses a picket line.

After my siblings and I were grown up, we realized what our father had sacrificed in order to take care of his family. Dad retired at 65, and he went back to school to get his high school diploma.

When I buy meat, I always tell the young butchers about my dad joining the meat cutters union. They always smile, nod their heads and understand what all those butchers went through before there was a union.

This is how I honor my father's memory.

Sandra Shapiro Loundy, Simi Valley

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