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Businesses need flexible scheduling, not a rigid Fair Work Week

Aisha Meadows, McLaurin, (right) a fast-food worker at O'Hare Airport, at a 2017 news conference on the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance. The proposal would give hourly workers predictable schedules and compensation if they don't get it. | Fran Spielman/Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times’ recent editorial endorsing the City Council’s proposed rigid, restrictive scheduling ordinance is really an endorsement to eliminate flexibility for workers, while subsequently increasing costs for employers. Advocates claim this is a “compromise ordinance,” but that is false. They clearly don’t understand the very real reasons why employers and employees across a wide range of industries require a more fluid scheduling process. These reasons range from employees quitting without notice, calling in sick, peak customer times and unsafe weather conditions, just to name a few.

Additionally, the proposal requires the employer to pay extra money to an employee if, as an example, they have to replace a worker who quit without notice or called in sick. Not only that, but employers would also face fines from the city and increased litigation costs, essentially punishing employers financially for scheduling changes outside their control.

As any good employer knows, scheduling workers is a complicated and ever-changing process, especially when they make efforts to accommodate employee requests. Imposing rigid rules such as this one will not aid in employee retention, but will instead eliminate flexibility for employees, reduce hours and lead to fewer job opportunities — putting at risk our ranking as a culinary capital and erasing gains we have made as a tech hub.

Employers need to be able to offer flexible schedules that work best for their specific employees and customers. Adding yet another regulation into Chicago’s already heavily regulated business community will do just the opposite.

Jack Lavin, president and CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

Rob Karr, president and CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association

Sam Toia, president, Illinois Restaurant Association

Marc Gordon, president and CEO, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

John McCain, Kofi Annan will be missed

Senator John McCain has died and has left us with many good memories of his life. He was a Navy man, just like his father and grandfather. As a Navy pilot, he was shot down in the Vietnam War and became a prisoner of war for approximately six years. He had numerous injuries caused by that crash and imprisonment. Brain cancer has now taken his life.

Bombastic Trump made a provocative remark about Senator McCain being captured by the Viet Cong, stating that “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” That remark should have disqualified Trump from being president! But no, we have to wait for Congress to make a decision on Trump’s future in the remainder of his term.

Senator McCain earned many military medals for his service and was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 1999. We will miss him.

Another person who died recently was Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General. I met Mr. Annan and his wife, Nane, in 2002, when we both received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award at a presentation at the JFK Library in Boston. Secretary General Annan, Senator Ted Kennedy and myself were invited to a press conference with the Boston Globe and other newspapers. We had a very enjoyable and interesting time together with the press. I had the opportunity to get to know Annan and Kennedy, during and after that meeting.

Both Senator McCain and Secretary General Kofi Annan will be missed. May God be with their two fine families.

Dean Koldenhoven, former mayor of Palos Heights

Catholic Church abuse scandal

Regarding the recent clerical child abuse scandals, it must be remembered that covering up crimes is a phenomenon that occurs in all positions of power, not just clerical.

As we have seen, recently, it also occurs in politics, law enforcement, the military, education, corporations, etc. Cover-ups involve 2 kinds of people: those who want to hide their crimes and those who, mistakenly and tragically, believe that immediately admitting that the crime happened will hurt their institution more than covering it up and having it being discovered some time down the road.

Time and again, we have seen that covering up a crime only makes things worse. A wound is best healed when treated right away and not allowed to fester.

Jim Tomczyk, Forest Glen

Revive the draft, spark more debate on war

Seeing television footage of the anti-war protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago reminded me how unpopular the Vietnam War was. Since the United States’ unprovoked invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan more than 17 years ago, we have spent trillions of dollars and are responsible for the death and permanent injury of thousands of our military and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the affected region.

The reason for acceptance or indifference to the carnage and costs is the elimination of mandatory military service. In the Vietnam era, all young men were eligible for the draft. Without required service, important voices of dissent have been muted and our continued involvement in perpetual war continues and expands, accepted as being business as usual.

Since wars are fought to protect our freedoms, all young people should serve this cause, without exception or exemption. Those physically unable to serve in combat can serve in support roles. I fully expect that a return of the draft would, as during the Vietnam era, generate the same questions, doubts and resentment of wasting lives and treasure on wars we don’t understand and that we can never win.

Sheldon I. Saitlin, Gold Coast