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September 25, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-25

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E4e £fr tian Batty
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications


420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



Union di scriminationi:
A problem for everyone

THE MIRE that is discrimination in the
skilled trades calls for an answer. Not
one that will solve the problem 100 years
from now, as United Auto Workers vice
president Horace Scheffield laments, but
one that can solve it in the foreseeable
future. /
The unions - the plumbers and the
electricians - have given only lip ser-
vice, and sometimes less than that, to the
need for ending de facto segregation in
their trades. It thus becomes the task of
outside agencies to share the burden for
righting the wrongs that have been com-
mitted continuously for many years.
The problem of discrimination in the
building trades t o d a y is no longer the
imple legal fight that it seemed it would
be ten years ago when Freedom Riders
were assaulting the legal barriers to rac-
ial equality. Those barriers, so easy to'un-
derstand and to fight against, have begun
to be brought d o w n. The fight now is
much more difficult, both to wage and to
understand. It is no longer just in the
realm of polities, but in economics, in the
complex workings of society, in human
TJ~HE CURRENT selection procedure for
obtaining apprenticeship applicants is
constructed to keep out just those blacks
who' most need to belong in the skilled
trades - those from lower-income homes
Who 14would otherwise end up in the fac-
tories of industry as unskilled or semi-
skilled laborers.'
The unions - the plumbers and elec-
tricians - justify their discrimatory
practices on the grounds that they must
keep requirements high to keep the qual-
ity of their trade high. Both being state-
licensed trades, they argue, they must in-
sure that their new members are of suf-
ficiently high quality to maintain their.
good standing.
Even accepting this rationale, the test-
ing for "high quality" falls flat on one
fact alone - the material the tests cover
is teachable. Despite claims that the tests
measure intelligence and n o t achieve-
ment, it is nonetheless true that major
projects in New York, Detroit and num-
erous other cities have successfully train-
ed people who had failed the tests on
earlier attempts.
E XAMINED WITH this in mind, the
tests used by the unions which so ef-
fectively keep out blacks are no more
than, facades of respectability. They are
convenient legal tools the unions use to
keep their trades as lily-white as pos-
-Spokesmen for the electricians counter
with the argument that if they have men
who can pass the test, there is no reason
why they should go out of their way to
train anyone else. That would be unfair,
they say, to those who were already par-
tially trained.
The unions use this stand secure in the
knowledge that it will keep them free
from any mass entry of blacks into, their
trades. If it were the whites who needed
the extra training and not the blacks,
they would no doubt be much more amen-
able to the extra training programs.
This justification also functions very
well as a maintenance of the status quo--
a status quo built up in long decades of
deliberate and intentional exclusion of
blacks from the trades. It is incumbent on
the unions to make some move to com-
pensate for the long-standing injustices
they have committed against blacks.
The need then, clearly, is for pre-ap-
prenticeship training which would open
the trades to those blacks who sought and
deserved it.

only non-union agencies are willing
to attempt alleviation of the ills in the
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Editorial Staff

plumbers and electricians unions. Public
agencies - like the mayor's office or the
Human Relations Commission - and pri-
vate civil rights groups - like the NAACP
- may be able in time to organize effec-
tive apprenticeship and pre-apprentice-
ship programs. The University as well can
do its share to help solve this problem.
The University's opportunity lies in its
already organized apprenticeship train-
ing program. It was originally set-up to
supply the University with enough skilled
workers to meet its own demands. The'
restrictive hiring practices of the unions
used to guarantee work for all its mem-
bers was so restrictive that it left t h e
University seriously short-handed.
The University's program follows the
same discriminatory hiring procedure
that the unions employ. The University
is training only two blacks out of 35 in
its program, while far more t h a n two
blacks have been turned away because
they couldn't pass a test identical in na-
ture to that used by the unions,
THERE ARE currently some 18 blacks on
the waiting list to take the test to en-
te the training program..There is no rea-
son to expect that, if conditions aren't
changed, they will fare any better than
the blacks who have gone before.
But the required change would assure
that any of the blacks who are capable of
becoming skilled tradesmen -'by native
intelligence, not current achievement -
could do so, despite their inability to pass
the test at the present time.
The University can at least correct the
abuses within its own program.
Both the Washtenaw Community Col-
lege (WCC) and private resources should
play a vital role in rectifying the inequi-
table situation.
WCC, as a part of the state-wide com-
munity college system, is the most prac-
tical source for training for blacks in the
skilled trades. Their current programs in
various clerical and technical fields serve
much of 'the community, and it is time
for a program in the skilled construction
trades, which they are currently consid-
Such a program, however, will require a
change in the policy they have followed
up to now. Their hiring practices in the
skilled industrial trades limits them to
workers recommended to them by various
local industrial concerns. If a similar pl-
icy were instituted in t h e construction
trades program, it would serve only to
continue the current discriminatory hir-
ing procedures.
WHAT IS NEEDED NOW is a corrective
program to achieve some sort of rea-;
sonable racial balance in the trades, af-
ter which, it is expected the trades ought
to be able to handle themselves. WCC's
program ought to be aimed in that direc-
tion, but it is unlikely it will go far
enough. At best their program would be
only slightly corrective, to the degree that
it was completely non-discriminatory it-
The last possibility - public and pri-I
vate agency co-operation, such as t h e
HRC and the NAACP - shows the great-
est promise for a meaningful solution of
the problem of discrimination in the
skilled trades. They alone show the great-
est commitment to what has to be done,
which no other agency, such as the Uni-
versity or WCC or the unions themselves,
can be expected to do. But, more than any
other of the groups, they currently lack
the resources to undertake such ,a pro-
The current situation will remain cir-
cular until large-scale imaginative action
is taken. Currently, those who are able to

combat discrimination are unwilling to do
so, and those who are willing are unable.
The need is there. Someone must now
combine the resources and the will to see
that the work is done.
JN MAKING his debut on European tele-
vision Monday afternoon from Toledo,
Ohio and via Canary Bird Satelite, Vice-
President Hubert Humphrey defended
4A Ue -..., _ ..S. :. .0 'T -.L ~ . ,.. .. - 41

The day
SEPT. 1-Steve (Slime) Nissen, Daily
reporter, uncovers an organized plan
to violently take over control of The
Daily when he accidentally reads his
roommate's botany notes while eating a
jelly-eggplant sandwhich.
(Only later did we discover that the
botany notes were fraudulent and that
Doc Losh had absconded to Argentina
with the real plans. But this was later.)
Sept. 2-After unsuccessfully trying to
sell the plans to the Administration for
a six-pack of Schlitz and a C+ on an
incomplete, Nissen surrenders the plans
to us. "Jumping Jehosophat," says Mark
Levin, Daily editor, when he reads the
Sept. 3-This is a trying day. Steve
Wildstrom, Daily managing editor, asks
Sheriff Doug Harvey for protection from
the enemy. Harvey happily complies,
sending over an armed cordon of deputies.
Unfortunately, when one of the deputies
can not produce identification, Nissen
gamely slugs him and hustles him into
the john. The other deputies fearfully
Sept. 4-We barricade ourselves in,
awaiting the worst.
Sept. 5-Levin takes charge, sending
Nissen directly to President Robben
Fleming. The President, peering intently
over his groovy glasses, is sympathetic.
But he insists he can not help us because
all his men and resources are tied up
making the University relevant to so-
ciety and other extra-University stuff.
"Oh, darn," says Levin, when he hears
of the state of things.
Sept. 6-We draw straws to see who
goes out for food and drink,
Sept. 7-We .draw straws to see who

The Daily
goes to SGC for help. Levin draws the fat
straw and has to go. Bob Neff, SGC
executive vice-president, is busy con-
triving a confrontation on making the
University more relevant to classes
(which Fleming has suspended) and re-
fers Levin to Mike Koeneke, SGC presi-
dent. Koeneke laughs a horrible laugh and
sends Levin back to us. "Commie pigs,"
sniffs Levin.
Sept. 8-We worry a lot.
SEPT. 9-ACROSS OUR teletype, we
appeal to the journalism department
which has not been heard from since
before teletypes. Except for the soft whirr
of pastoral dreaming, there is no answer.
"Fastidious toads," growls Levin.'
Sept. 10-We re-read reviews by Lil'
Sherri and Lil' Suzzi Funn.
Sept. 11-Disguised as Mrs. Barbara
Newell, vice-president for student serv-
ices, Levin leads 11 of us into the Ad-
ministration Bldg. which we hope to use
as headquarters once the Student Pub-
lications Bldg. falls. A janitor mistakes
Levin for Florence Nightengale and signs
him to a movie contract., "Uppity bas-
tard," yells Levin after we are safely back
in the Student Publications Bldg.
Sept. 12-We begin to conspire to offer
Nissen's head in exchange for our free-
Sept. 13-Levin, disguised as Nissen,
is almost decapitated. Luckily we discover
our mistake in time. "You're all infiltra-
tors," accuses Levin.
SEPT. 14-21-THIS IS A trying week.
All of our croquet mallets are broken
trying to club pigeons for food. Eric
Chester's megaphone accidentally falls

began to
out an upstairs window and can not be
rescued. Levin runs out of disguises and
walks around as himself. My wife wants
me to come home.
But we are cheered by some signs of
hope. Several sororities find out The
Daily has no black editors and sponsors
a bucket drive in our behalf. YAF cham-
pions a crusade to send all subversives
to concentration camps and we enjoy
visions of the enemy being marched away
between uniformed soldiers.
Sept. 22-We try to talk to Gen. Her-
shey on the long-distance phone.
Sept. 23-Washington calls back and
tells us Gen. Hershey has been purged.
Sept. 24-The sororities give up and
hold a wake in our behalf. YAF disbands
and members exit to Canada.
Sept. 25-We surrender.

fight ..


Our general in disguise


Swinging toandfro
HE LATEST report of the Daily Intensive Study Committee
(DISC) yesterday revealed the egdstence of a new underground
movement on campus.
Calling itself the SU, this group has dedicated itself to the
advancement of swings--the kind with a seat hung from two chains.
A spokesman for the group (who preferred to remain annonymous)
explained, "the club sports and IMs have had their say about what
recreational facilities they feel are lacking, and we think it's about
time we had a voice in the matter."
Several of SU's leaders were upset by the Daily's exposing the
movement since they prefer to remain under cover until enough
strength has been gathered for a mass assault on an unresponsive
DISC chairman Lil' Sherri Funn
admitted that they happened onto
the movement by accident. The
committee originally intended to
survey students as an outgrowth of
the recent clamor for recreational
After much thoughtful delibera-
tion, they agreed that the most un
likely place to start was the UGLI
so that's where they decided to
As coincidence would have it, SU
had been using the UGLI as a front
for their organization and was in
the midst of its weekly meeting
when the DISCers popped in with
their neatly-printed questionnaires.
It didn't take the committee long
to get suspicious when every single
person interviewed came up with
the exact same complaint-a lack
of swings.
Even the reasons fell into the
same pattern. The adage "All work
and no play makes John a dull boy"
was repeated so often that DISC
was not surprised to learn later
that it is SU's motto.
This collection of solitude-seek-
ers decried the long distances and
overcrowded conditions that faced
them every time they attempted to
brave the censures of society.
Some even broached the idea of
recapturing the joys of friendship,
a cool breeze and a gently Pocking
DISC's next study will be an in-
vestigation of the seriousness of
this newly-discovered shortage. SU,
at last report, was debating wheth-
er it will demand plastic or wooden
seats in their formal confrontation.



-Diana Romanchuk

The Board in Control's efforts to protect free speech

Letters: A happy solution to end the ,,,war


To the Editor:
JT RECENTLY came to my at-
tention that our nation is in-
volved in a conflict in Southeast
Asia. And, that this situation, be-
ing akin to the police action of
Korea, has brought much of our
populace into dispute as to the
correct solution.
I feel that a just conclusion is
inevitable, if we only allow our
democratic and American sense of
compromise to rule our actions.
Hence I submit this seven pointed
program which, by use of its al-
gorithm, will lead to a happy so-
lution for all.
First of all we must devote all
possible manpower to the battle-
Since the news statistics s h o w
there are more North Vietnamese
than South Vietnamese in South
Vietnam, we must first clean
house by forming a line of flame-
throwers across the country and
burning our way to the D.M.Z.,
rid the countryside of these ver-
mon .
NEXT WE MUST rent the city
of Geneva, invite all concerned
parties, Midway, Guam, Puerto
Rico, Canal Zone, and the Virgin
Islands, and finally we will con-
vene a Geneva Convention.
This convention will divide the
present country of South Vietnam
into two sections: the first a ten
square mile area of what used to
be Saigon, and the rest is what's

tradition, to the People of South
Vietnam-Ky government.
THE SECOND of the two areas
shall serve as a buffer zone and
will be run under military juris-
diction, as is in the great Ameri-
can Tradition. But, here is where
we will display the teachings and
philosophy of the Great Society.
Ours shall not be the military in
charge of rehabilitation; This shall
serve in two fold: as a stabilizer
of our economy, and to prevent
the world wide stink of ,"Yankee
go home!"
Lastly we will delegate this
grave responsibility of rehabilita-
tion and securing national integ-
rity to a non-nationalistic .and
well- to do concerned party: For-
mosa -
In conclusion, this policy will
please all concerned parties, re-
solve all U.S. commitments in this
troubled area, cost us less in the
final analysis, and if we work fast,
we can exterminate all living
things in the Hong Kong area (ex-.
cept people of course) thus beat-
ing the threat of the A-2 Flu virus.
-John Humphrey, '70 E
Sept. 20
Zion ismi
To the Editor:
DAN OKRENT'S editorial "LBJ
and the Jets" really shocked
me into thinking that perhaps all
the inspiring protests of the idea-

railis. Every Israeli conversatation
begins and ends with "shalom,"
the Hebrew w o r d for "peace."
Peace is the: dream very deep in
the hearts but very far from the
lives of a very sensitive people who
hate pulling a trigger as much as
any C.O.t
Why then, is their whole politi-
cal 'system geared today towards
war? Why does every child, male
and female, serve in the IsTaili
of course, that the Arabs are un-
derstandably not so anxious for
peace. Peace now, on any Israeli
terms, would mean the loss of:the
territory which they say is theirs,
and a surrendering of the pride
which they lost in the six-day war.
There is no question but what if
the Arabs had the power t h e y
would still lose no time in "push-
ing the Jews into the sea."
Survival then is the practical
reason, but what ofthe impract-
icle one. If, as they claim, the
Israelis are really sympathetic
with Arab demands, if they really
recognize the cultural and racial
bonds which could create a strong
base for a peaceful relationship,
why do they refuse to lay down
their weapons and co-operate with
the Arabs in an Arab state where
they would, no doubt, be allowed
to live in peace? This is one of the
complex moral and psychological
paradoxes which people like Ok-

bagels and money (sorta like some
folks like athletics and rhythm).
THUS IT IS not surprising that
close to the heart of many Ameri-
can Jews is the knowledge that
should America ever forget her
lessons in tolerance, or should
American Jews ever want to be
more than tolerated, there is one
place in the world where a Jew
may be judged' first as a human
These, anyway, are the motives
behind those Zionist pressure
groups Okrent wants to ignore.
And those are the motives, mag-
nified manifold, of the Israeli peo-
ple. For the Israeli's are the ones.
who were not included in that tiny
number, who had nowhere to go
but Israel, who fought bitterly for,
a land where human dignity-would
never again be subject , to the
whims of a nation and who are
prepared to die rather than live
without that land. Perhaps they
are motives rooted too much in
history and psychology and pride.
but then these s e e mn to be the
roots of the whole world's politics.
So that as long as this paradox
between peace and pride remains,
and as long as there is no nego-
tiated peace, the cold facts of the
matter are that Israel will last
only as long as she has the mili-
tary strength to ward off an Arab
attack. Each day the forces are
kept equal is an added day for
persuing the complex peace with
wich Americna ha sno+ har th

Vietnam," they tell me, "why
should she worry about another
small country on the other side
of the globe?" Russian interests
in the Arab countries are con-
trastingly easily understood. The
economic advantages of access to
Arabian oilfields and the propa-
gandist advantages of a new vic-
tory are obvious. "But," say the
Israelis, "America is learning that
every Russian victory is not an
American defeat; as far as we can
see America has no real interests
I wanted to reassure them that
American actions didn't always
have to Piave a specific political in-
terest, that you didn't have to be
Jewish to feel that there was a
moral interest more complex than
"peace." I wanted to point to the
example of the idealists on col-
lege campuses, but somehow the
words stuck in my throat. Now I
think I know how.
-Judy Cohen, '71
Sept. 21
GA plea
To the Editor:
THE GRADUATE Assembly can
be a very valuable and effec-
tive organ for improving the Uni-
versity: but it won't be if the time
and energies of its members are
burned up by political activists'
trying to use our student govern-
ment to change the world.
We need more Graduate Assem-
bly representatives who will work
as nart of a Body for improving


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