The comment of the administration source who said one could hardly expect the Department of Labor to push the agenda of organized labor was enlightening {"Dole Resigns as Bush's Labor Secretary," news story, Oct. 25}. I was foolish enough to believe that that was the reason for establishing the Department of Labor.

Over the past few months, Mrs. Dole had begun to address the destruction of OSHA under the Reagan administration by reevaluating workplace safety. She had even begun to consider rules similar to those in Sweden and other European countries on video display terminals and computers, which have caused thousands to suffer from neuromuscular injuries and other health problems. For a few brief months, it appeared that at least one Republican cared about people who work for a living.

And well they should. After all, nearly 70,000 workers die each year from work-related hazards. About 10,000 are killed on the job. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations that allows people demanding better working conditions to be forced from their jobs. Mrs. Dole appears to be well-suited to head the American Red Cross. There her compassion for Americans facing death, disease and misfortune should be more appreciated than they were in the Bush administration. RALPH D. TOMLINSON Washington