FOR 60 YEARS, our city government along with the state and federal versions have stood by and watched good-paying jobs leave our city, state and country.

These jobs have been replaced with poor-paying ones with few or no benefits. A typical family in Philadelphia needs two jobs to make ends meet. One of the sectors that survived this negligence is unionized construction.

Now our future mayor and City Council want to break something that seems to be working. The city should acknowledge past mistakes and better prepare students for the construction industry. A redistribution of these union jobs based on quotas and not merit will weaken this industry, which already has to compete for the work with non-union contractors that pay poorly and offer little or no benefits.

Michael McCollum, Philadelphia