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April 08, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-04-08

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Tllr sirlinn Bailly
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed.by students of the University of Michigan

balancing teacups
Once upon a Madison Avenue mattress
nadkn c Rds

-0 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



A 'new age of labor revolt

THE AMERICAN working class is in re-
volt. To be sure, the revolt is not yet
expressly political (much less socialist);
nevertheless, a revolt it remains. 'And the
reasons for it are not difficult to find.
Largely under the whip of te Vietna-
mese war, inflation has bitten off large
'hunks of workers' wages. During the last
four years, the wages of the average fac-
tory employe rose by $22, but he still
wound up nearly a dollar poorer in pur-
enasing power. This, in a period of high
corporate profits and high interest rates,
"has been a prime mover in the workers'
revolt. But not this alone.
For an even longer period, various see-
tors of the American working class have
been escalating their resistance to the
backbreaking, unsafe, and authoritarian
conditions in which they spend t h e i r
working days or night (or both!). And
for refusing to fight around this kind of
grievance, union bureaucrats have for the
past six or seven years been falling like
bowling pins. This is the period which a
business magazine heralded with the ex-
clamation: "These days we see less of the
old familiar (union) faces. All of a sud-
den we are confronting the 'faceless'
rank-and-file." Sunday, the New York
Times' labor editor, A. H. Raskin, made a
similar point:
'T SUCH ECON40MIC factors (as infla-
tion) is added the restlessness that
pervades all institutions in these days of
paticipatory democracy. Th authority
of theunion .leaders no longer overawes
the rank and file. One contract in every
gight recommended by union negotiators
is thrown back in their faces by dissident
FIRST CAME the postal workers strike.
Beginning as a wildcat in one local
in New York, this strike spread quickly
across the country. Radicals in New York
who tried to ally with the strikers met
hostility at first. When Nixon called out
the National Guard, the strikers' attitude
toward the government (and its oppon-
ents) changed significantly, and radicals
found it much easier going from then on.
The strike was eventually broken and a
settlement was reached. But dissatisfac-
tion among the postal employes has far
from disappeared.
Earlier, a threatened shutdown of the
railroad system was "solved" by a com-
pulsory back-to-work law passed by the
Congress last month. The law expires Ap-
ril 11, and the possibility of an explosion
then is real.
The Teamsters have formally reached
agreement with the trucking employers
including wage increases of comparative-
ly sizeable dimensions. Nevertheless, the
Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles and New-
ark teamsters have gone out on strike
despite the admonitions of the union up-
MOST RECENTLY, of course, the a i r
traffic controllers (PATCO) have
been conducting their "sick-out," object-
ing to antiquated and inadequate safety
measures (which burden the worker and
endanger the public) and the blatant at-
tempts by the government to inhibit

PATC) organizers in their unionization
drives among the air controllers.
The federal government has responded
to the "sick-out" by ordering the employ-
es back to work, threatening huge fines
against those who refuse, and compelling
each employe claiming illness to be ex-
amined by a federally-appointed physic-
ian. If the physician determines that ill-
ness is not apparent, the patient is forc-
ed to go back to work - on pain of being
held in contempt of court. This is the
closest approximation of slavery we have
seen recently. Next, no doubt, employes
will h a v e television cameras placed in
their bedrooms a la 1984.
In San Francisco recently, a general
strike was only narrowly averted by the
adroit machinetions of c i t y politicians
and labor bureaucrats.
AND, THE OUTLOOK is for more of the
same. Rubber workers, meat packers,
Detroit municipal employes, construction
workers all have their contracts up for
renegotiation this spring. And in a few
months, the United Auto Workers will
square off against an automobile indus-
try which is this year presenting its em-
ployes with a solid front of resistance.,
In most 'of these cases, the response of
the government h a s been similar: be-
moan the damage to "the public" and
"the public interest," point to the "fla-
grant disregard of the law" by striking
public employes, and then bring out the
big stick - injunctions, National Guard,
etc. The reaction of the ranks? Back to
Raskin: "The mood was one of reliance
on economic force, heedless of no-strike
laws, court injunctions and admonitions
from union leaders."
WHAT SHOULD be the reaction,of stu-
dents to all this? One possibility is
solidarize with the workers, understand
the absolutely legitimate roots of their
struggles, recognize the radical potential
of those struggles, and 1 e n d whatever
moral and material support they possi-
bly can. The most obvious example of such
support that comes to mind is joining the
strikers' picket lines. This was successful-
ly done by University students during the
1967 campus employes' strike, the 1969
wildcat strike at the Chrysler plant in
Sterling, and the strike of employes at
Fruehauf in Detroit just a month or so
IN ADDITION, the largely student-based
radical movement must begin seriously
to orient its work to the workers, to raise
demands which reveal the fundamental
community of interests of workers and
radical students. The best that c o u 1d
come of this would be the ultimate ach-
ievement of the kind of worker-student
solidarity which developed in France in
May, 1968.
But the failure to orient to workers in
a positive fashion, the total disregard of'
workers' needs in drawing up demands -
the result o' this kind of oversight (es-
pecially in a period of working-class un-
rest and corporate-government attack on
their real wages) can be glimpsed in 'A
letter reprinted elsewp ere on this page.
Editorial Page Editor

the sum of their articles.
They are the sum of their articles and
ads, many of which I have 'decided are
educational, or if not all that, at least
helpful. Why just the other day, for ex-
ample, I couldn't decide what to wear and
such, but I found the answer, I thought,
in Life Magazine.
The centerfold of the April 3 issue held
the key to the situation. There, on two full
pages; was actress Senta Berger carefully
strewn on one portion of a brand new
Beauty-Rest-by-Simmons mattress, star-
ing open-mouthedly into my face.
SHE WASN'T wearing very much, only a
pink, sleeveless nightgown with white lace
and low neckline - a little unsubtle, I
thought, until I noticed a tiny rose plant-
ed in her cleavage to obscure a clear vis-
ion of what might lie underneath.
"THAT'S subtle," I murmured to my-
"So this is what it is to be a woman," I
then surmised. "Why t h a t shouldnt be
hard to do at all. I'll just do it by the mag-
azine, as they say." (I chuckled to myself
at my tiny pun.)
Jacobson's, I deduced, would be my best
bet for finding the right kind of night-
gown. I went directly to the Lingerie De-

partment and explained to the saleslady
just what was needed.
-"lime green," "mellow yellow," "perfect-
ly peach," "tantalizing turquoise," but no
"I guess it will have to be "lime green,"
I sighed, already concerned that things
,were not going well.
To make matters worse I noticed there
wasn't any flower in the cleavage of my
new "lime green." "Pardon me, ma'am,"
I said as calmly as I could, "but there
doesn't seem to be any flower or bow or
ornament to hide - I mean to make me
subtle when I wear this, and Senta Ber-
ger's had one and she's the one who does
it all right."
WHAT COULD the saleslady say? I had
her on that one, but she came up with a
good suggestion. She told me to go to
Kresge's and buy a plastic rose and glue
it in. "It'll only cost a dime," she said.
Sounded like a good idea, so I took her.
advice. Twenty minutes and one tulip la-
ter (the roses were gone) I arrived back
in my apartment to become a woman.
"Oh, my God," I exclaimed. "I haven't
got a Simmons Beauty-Rest." Before I
despaired, however, I thought maybe my w

used Sealy Posturpedic would do. I thought
about calling Senta or Henry L u c e to
check on this, but I decided to be gutsy
and make my own decision.
A USED SEALY it would be.
I took off my clothes, unpiled my hair
from the top of my head and swished it
into my eyes and mouth as I supposed'
Senta did, put on my new nightgown, ap-
plied the tulip and ambled onto my mat-
tress. .

"Now," I applauded, "I'm a woman!"
Or that seems to be what Life, Simmons,
Hugh Hefner, Madison Avenue and bunch-
es of others would have us think. But
without slipping into the much-used
"Right on, Women!" rhetoric, I must pro-
test the claim that Senta Berger's night-
gown portrayal and others of that ilk are
the epitori e of it all.
Phooey, I say, I'm going back to the li-
brary in my potato sack and do better
than Senta would, anyway.

Keeping the

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer is
a student in the Law School.)
IF YOU WERE the attorney for
a major tobacco company faced
with dozen of lawsuits for lung
cancer, would you want your
strategies exposed? Your tech-
niques of isolating your opponent's
lawyer from all outside help? Your
evasive answers which prove that
you are fighting your case alone,
and not as part of a united fund
with the Tobacco Institute? No!
You would want to preserve the
days of trial by surprise even
though that technique was out-
lawed over thirty years ago.
Liggett & Myers feels that way,
too. Monday it went to the Circuit
Court of Appeals to get an order
to stop Judge Fox, of .the Western
District of Michigan from detail-
ing its tactics.
JUDGE FOX watched the to-
bacco interests in action as he
tried the case of Thayer v. L&M.
Mrs. Thayer came to court with
two attorneys and enough money
for a reasonable court battle. She

asked damages of $30,000 for the
death of her husband from lung
L&M prolonged the procedings
at every stage to maximize its gi-
gantic size advantage. By claiming
that trade secrets would be pre-
sented in the case, it obtained an
order prohibiting the widow's at-
torney's from discussing the case
with anyone beyond her handful,
of expert witnesses. Then the to-
bacco company brought in its big
guns-over a dozen lawyers plus a
battery of experts provided by the
Tobacco Institute. Judge Fox says
no trade secrets were ever pre-
L&M TOLD the court that it
was not associated with the To-;
baccotInstitute in order to sup-
port its plea f or special trade
secret treatment as a loner. After
the order for secrecy was obtained.
it admitted that it was a member
of the Institute, and that Institute
answered questions from public
health officials as the company's
- Judge Fox says the secrecy order

imposed on Mrs. Thayer's lawyers
has another, more important, ef-
In addition, the order prevents
discovery, in future cases, of
documents which would nor-
mally be public records. This,
too,, serves defendant well. It
makes future discovery for other
individual plaintiffs more dif-
ficult, more time consuming;
and more expensive. It insulates
data that could be used for im-
peachment or other evidentiary
purposes. In over-all effect, it
magnifies the burden any plain-
tiff will face in the trial of a
similar lawsuit. It is calculated
to do so. It has already been
used for this purpose. (Opinion
of Judge Fox, p. 10)
How was L&M able to flaunt
courtroom rules which insure fair-
nsJudge Fox says:
Finally, there one more ob-
vious advantage which accrued
to defendant by virtue of its
overwhelming superiority in re-
sources. It :knew that plaintiff
could not afford the luxury of

under wraps

a mistrial. With such knowledge
defendant.could confidnetly risk
tactics that would normally be
deterred by this sanction. Plain-
tiff, on the ;other hand, knew
both that she had to be cautious
herself and that, as a practical
matter, she would be unable to
effectively police defendant's
conduct. Defendant thus sought
the best of two worlds - a mis-
trial or a verdict of no cause of
action. (Opinion of Judge Fox,
p. 10)
WHEN JUDGE FOX expressed
his wish to keep the parties on
even footing, L&M claimed he was
biased against them and demand-
ed a mistrial. The demand was
denied. The jury found that L&M
had not caused Mr. Thayer's
Judge Fox wrote an opinion
summarizing the case and exopain-
ing his denial of the motion for
mistrial. Such opinions have been

The opinion ,involved the novel
legal question of equalizing the
rights of relatively poor plaintiff
against the strength and tactics
of a large corporate defendant,
and would normally be widely read
and cited.
But L&M seeks to prevent that.
It seeks an order prohibiting the
publication of the descriptive por-
tion of Judge Fox's opinion. on
the grounds that - since the jury
verdict closed the case - the
opinion is irrelevant. L&M wants
no publicity for, its' involvement
with the Tobacco Institute in de-
fending this type of suit. It waits
no notice for its tactics of sup-
pressing information' which could
be used in later trials, and of pre-
venting assistance to the plain-
tiff's laywers by reference to il-
lusive trade secrets.
AND AT the hearing on such an
order only one party presents
arguments. L&M will have another
chance to illustrate its ethics -
but the hearing will also be un-



for hundreds of years to pro-,
information to other judges
lawyers with similar cases.

Letters to the Editor


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Absolutely resentful
To the Editor:
LET ME first say that I, as a
white man, have always tried to
defend the position of the black
in America and believe he should
have equal treatment and oppor-
I am, however, absolutely re-
sentful of the Black Action Move-
ment activity at the University
of Michigan. As a white working-
class man, I'm unable to send my
children to college because of the
cost of living and the enormous
tax burden.
Part of my taxes go to U-M and
I resent being forced to s e n d
someone else to college when I
can't sendmy own.
President Fleming and the Re-
gents were wishy-washy in their
action. Instead of apologizing why
didn't he suspend t h o s e people
who stayed away from school? If
they don't want an education ,let
them go home.
It's about time students were
given an ultimatum. I believe the
legislators should review the mat-
ter of funds to U-M.
-J. Webb
Taylor, Michigan
(This letter originally appeared in
the Detroit Free Press on April 7).
To the Editor:
The following is a copy of a
letter sent to President Fleming.
ONE OF THE many disquieting
revelations of the past days has
been the confirmation of what
many of us have long suspected:
the procedures by which decisions
are made and implemented with-
in the University are woefully in-
adequate, chiefly because they are
insufficiently representative of the
University community as a whole.
The very fact that the Black
Action Movement (BAM) con-
fronted the Regents with their
demands is the most graphic il-
lustration of this weakness. It
was precisely that confrontation,
and the Regents' response. which

and thought toIthe original pro-
posals. Since they did not, many
in the academic community are
being asked, without sufficient in-
formation and in an atmosphere
of increasing tension, to take
sides on an immensely complicated
issue. I deeply resent being inform-
ed, as faculty and staff were in-
formed in the preamble of a re-
cent statement by Vice President
Ross, that the Regents' response
was "a very substantial, bonafide
response"; I resent it because I
prefer to come to my own con-
clusions on the basis of evidence,
not exhomtation. But neither do I
know why BAM and its support-
ers selected their original figure
of 10 per cent black 'enrollment by
1973-74 (perhaps the percentage
ought to have been still higher);
and I submit that the black de-
mands would have carried even
greater weight with many of us if
we had been certain that much,
hard thinking - black and white
thinking, faculty, administrative.
and student thinking, financial
and educational thinking - had
contributed to them from. the
THOSE ARE NOW past events,
and the future is before us. If the
University of Michigan means to
address herself to current educa-
tional. and social issues in such a
way as to inspire trust and con-
fidence among her various con-
stituencies, it is imperative truly
representative sectors within the
the University be asked to assume
a substantial share of the respon-
sibility - and of the power - to
make these decisions. For such
power and responsibility the fer-
vent but impotent resolutions of
support voiced by individuals, col-
leges, and faculties are simply no
substitute. Now that the Univer-
sity appears to be on the verge of
full-fledged commitment to 10 per
cent black enrollment by 1973-74,
there is a crucial need for a care-
ful, just, and realistic reassess-
ment of budgetary priorities. A
constructive first step towards see-
ing that decisions become more
widely representative ought, I
think, to be the swift appoint-
m-ent ofan .nsni 1 nn , enn nn

To the Editor:
dents and staff of this University
have come from the black com-
munities across America. They
know the need for well educated
and highly sensitive leadership.
They listen to the majority
American Community who say "I
made it, why can't they?"
They understandathe hypocrisy
of this statement and the state-
ments of the faculty who a s k
"Where can you get the 104aer
They understand the racism of
recent Americans from European
heritage who threaten to bring
suit if preference is shown black
Americans. People who by virtue
of being white have advantages
over those who are non-white.
They know the lack ofsufc
ient, well trained leadership in
black communities.
They know that only by edu-
cating the poor, t h e- powerless,
and the alienated can these
groups achieve independence, eco-
nomic security, and full develop-
ment of their latent talents.
They are astounded that so few
of the University faculty under-
stand about local control of
s c h o o 1 s, decentralization of
schools, block club development,
urban renewal, relocation of black
citizens affected by urban re-de-
velopment and highway construc-
tion, the effects of white racism,
the many attempts of cities,
states, and t h e federal govern-
ment to combat poverty, the white
exo'dus from our cities, w h it e
back-lash, inner-city attempts to
solve its own problems and ir-
relevance of school curriculum to
black children.
THE FEW OF our faculty who
do understand these things can
be found in only a half dozen of
our seventeen colleges. T h is is
tragic - for it makes it clear
why people talk of reprisal. Why
people do not understand the
context of BAM's actions.
They are grieved at rumored
threats of reprisals. Faculty mem-
hers ad nartnomantchaveonenn-

I just LOVE politics, don't you,.?".


with the tenure rank of Associate
Professor. In 1962, the Regents
promoted me to full Professor -'
the first black to achieve this rank
in the history of this University
(a fact, I am sure, in which the
University does not take pride'.
My two black colleagues of 1956,
both distinguished men in their
fields, still have not achieved the
rank of full Professor. They are
both in the same school of the
University. If this represents the
climate 4 of The University of
Michigan, then it is easy to un-
derstand the reactions to BAM
demands and threatened repris-
The black faculty feels than if
one person is guilty, then all are
the students will 'benefit them.
They are aimed at the thousands
of potential black students back
in their neighborhoods. The anx-
ieties, energy, and yes, tears that
these students have experienced
- have no selfish motives. This
is probably difficult for some " to
believe. One has to be black to
really comprehend this phenom-

DN APRIL 2 an advertisement
appeared in The Daily purporting
to express the sentiments of the
Executive Board of the College
Republican Club in regard to
President Fleming's role during
the recent BAM strike. We would
like it to be known that as of
March 31 the legitimacy of that
"Executive Board" was declared
null'and void by the Central Stu-
dent Judiciary because of consti-
tutional violations at our club
election meeting on March 11.
There are many in the club who
are not/ in agreement with the
opinigns expressed in that 'adver-


And to those of you who do
care, could you use your influence
with your deaf and other Univer-
sity administrators to continue to
negotiate in good faith that we
may get on with the work of this
fine institution.
--Prof. Alvin D. Loving
Education School
March 36
To the Editor:


r ':
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