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May 06, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-05-06

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Seventy-Fifth bYear


Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MiCH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

666, U.aS, _

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

Dispute over Right-to-Work
Threatens Role of Unions

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WITH THE NEWS that President Lyn-
don B. Johnson plans to ask Congress
to repeal Section 14B of the Taft-Hartley
Act, the right-to-work controversy is once
again coming to the forefront of politi-
cal discussion.
Behind a facade of moralistic argu-
ments-some sincere, others merely a
public position designed to veil more
pragmatic considerations-lies a dispute
over the proper role of organized labor
in the United States. It is lamentable,
but almost inevitable, that the coming
battle will become a political power strug-
gle between the vested interests on both
sides while efforts to objectively analyze
the functions of American unionism and
economic effects of right-to-work laws
are forced into the background.
The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, with a
number of restrictions clarified by sub-
sequent court interpretations, permits ne-
gotiation of union security agreements-
that is, it officially sanctions compul-
sory unionism. Normally, of course, this
would make any state laws in the area
of union security inapplicable to firms
involved in interstate commerce, a cate-
gory including almost all major business-
However, Section 14B, a unique provi-
sion included in the Taft-Hartley Act
largely because of conservative pressure
and a general post-war suspicion of un-
ionism, reverses the normal federal-state
law relationship by allowing state stat-
utes placing more stringent restrictions
on union security to take precedence
over the Taft-Hartley Act's provisions.
The result has been passage of right-to-
work laws in several states,
WITH THE LARGE Democratic major-
ity in Congress, labor leaders are now
bringing pressure to bear for repeal of
Section 1413. Conservative groups are
mustering support for an all-out battle
against the expected legislation.
Beneath the superficial political hag-
gling, one legitimate argument for right-
to-work laws can be found. This is the
simple moral position that any man has
an inherent right to work where he
pleases without being forced to join a
union. However, when extracted from a
purely theoretical situation and applied
to an economy characterized by the inter-
play of powerful economic institutions,
unequal distribution of economic power
and an unemployment rate approaching
5 per cent, the laborer's right to work
becomes an empty phrase.,
Big business requires a uniform con-
tract for any given class of workers it
employs. The laborer's choice is either to
be bound by arbitrary management de-
termination of contract provisions or to
surrender his individual rights by dele-
gating authority to a negotiator of a la-
bor union.
While theoretically the labor force in a
free market economy should be able to
exert pressure on management through
the supply and demand mechanism in
the labor market, this is a source of pow-
er for the working man only in a full-
employment economy, which is not dis-
torted by the market imperfections such
as big business trusts.
ACCORDING to the provisions of the
Wagner Act, a union-management
agreement with a given firm applies to
all workers employed there, or at least to
all those involved in the specific line of
work for which the contract was nego-
tiated. Hence, if workers have an option
not to join the union, they still receive
the benefits of the union negotiated con-

tract-a situation many workers un-
doubtedly would (and do, where right-to-
work laws are in effect) find attractive.
While right-to-work supporters con-
tend that studies have shown right-to-
work laws to be neither a severe finan-
cial handicap or a restriction on union
growth, extenuating circumstances sur-
rounding these point out severe fallacies
in the argument.
First, at present right-to-work laws
exist only in agricultural states; locals
having financial difficulties in these
areas are able to draw on the bankrolls
of their national affiliates with bases
in northern industrial states. the strong-

to a union, he is not apt to drop out, and
his' past background is a key determ-
inant in becoming a union member.
Hence, the full impact of a right-to-work
law is not felt until a considerable time
after its passage when new workers, un-
familiar with compulsory unionism and
without a heritage of union participation,
become a substantial portion of the labor
ARGUMENTS that right-to-work laws
are not harmful to organized labor in
the United States are based on their lim-
ited application, haphazard enforcement
and the fact that there has not yet been
enough time for their effects to become
noticeable. This is hardly a sound basis
for justifying existence of such laws,
since the argument is dependent on the
intervention of extenuating circumstanc-
es, not the merits of the statutes them-
When the federal government permits
right-to-work laws it in effect sanctions
their inevitable long-range effect of
weakening the union movement in the
United States. Considering the demon-
strated value of organized labor as a bar-
gaining agent, an institution of social
benefit for the worker and a balancing
force to the economic power of big busi-
ness, this is clearly an undesirable posi-
It is often argued that, while beneficial,
unions nevertheless have not often exer-
cised their power honestly and judicially
and, thus ,right-to-work laws are neces-
sary to protect the worker from his un-
ion. It is undeniably true, as demonstrat-
ed by the testimony before the McClel-
lan committee a few years ago, that many
unions have often abused their power.
HOWEVER, right-to-work laws weaken
unionism as a whole without specefic-
ally restricting such abuses. A saner way
to approach this problem would be to
maintain compulsory unionism while de-
vising specific regulations to ensure in-
ternal union democracy and to attack
corruption in the labor movement.
By permitting right-to-work laws, Sec-
tion 14B is potentially a serious danger
to an effective labor movement in the
United States. The coming effort to re-
peal it should be supported.
in needless bungling, bumbling andM
There is little doubt that educational
facilities must be utilized to a greater de-
gree, and the solution seems to lie in year
round operation either through a trimes-
ter or quarter system. Yet the entire edu-
cational system must be integrated to
avoid conflicting schedules.
For example, under the present unco-
ordinated system high school graduates
cannot take advantage of the University's
attempt to meet the needs of a burgeon-
ing student population through the tri-
mester because of differences in calen-
room for more high school graduates
in its winter and summer sessions, the
differences in calendaring prevent their
enrollment. The result of these conflict-
ing academic calendars is inefficient use
of school facilities, overcrowding in the
fall semester and wasting of time for the

newly graduated high.school students.
Opponents of a coodinated calendar say
that the staggering of school schedules
avoids the problem of having too many
students out of school looking for em-
ployment and recreation at the same
time. Such assertions are unmitigated
nonsense since such staggered calendars
tend to overlap anyway, and a well
thought out coordinated calendar can be
even more effective in preventing student
Ideally, with proper calendaring, a co-
ordinated system, such as a trimester, will




S((, '..


The Birth of Activist Organizations

EDITOR'S NOTE: In today's article,
the second of a series, Philip Sutin,
Grad, continues to trace the course
of student activism on this campus
since 1960.
WHEN STUDENTS returned to
W campus in the fall of 1960,
the activist movement took new
and more energetic forms. The
National S t u d e n t Association,
which had acted without a direct
mandate from its membership in
the spring of 1960 in supporting
Southern sit-in activity, got a
mandate in the form of the "Stu-
dent in the Total Community"
policy declaration passed at its
Minneapolis Congress,
The declaration made it NSA
policy to encourage students to
participate in political action:
"The student should seek with in-
terest those problems which will
lead to responsible involvement in
social and political action."
The motion was written by Alan
Haber, a University student activ-
ist who had left Ann Arbor to
lead Students for a Democratic
Society. In his regime, he trans-
formed national SDS from a
largely moribund student arm of
the League for Industrial Democ-
racy to the leading student lib-
eral-radical organization.
spent the summer in California,
where he covered the Democratic
national convention for The Daily.
He spent time there observing
Slate, a University of California
campus liberal political party. His
perception of the need for such
an organization at the University
was sharpened by discussions at
the NSA Congress.
In the fall, Hayden, David Gil-
trow, Brian Glick, Kenneth Mc-
I Eldowney, Alan Guskin, Robert
Ross,- Sharon Jeffrey and several
other liberal-activist students met
and laid the groundwork for
Voice, the University's campus po-
litical party.
"Hayden gave Voice immediate
impetus. But there were a lot of
exceptionally sharp, perceptive
thinkers on the problem of edu-
cation.sThere was, frankly, a lot
of wrong within the administra-
tion," Richard Magidoff, the last
founder of Voice still on campus,
explained recently.
Both Voice membership and
leadership were drawn from the
same pool of people-editors and
staff members of the Daily, mem-
bers of the Political Issues Club,
Challenge and the Young Demo-
THUS a central liberal-activist
core formed. The Daily, led by
Hayden and then by John Rob-
erts, was its editorial spokesman.
Voice members pressed legislation
at SGC ,althcugh the record of
Voice on SGC was generally weak-
er than that of some of its key

members acting elsewhere. By
1962, liberal activists were to lead
Interquadrangle Council, Assem-
bly House Council and the
Voice organized itself in Sep-
tember, 1960, drawing many fresh-
men as a solid corps of members.
Its first goal was to get its can-
didates on SGC. The organiza-
tion waged an aggressive cam-
paign, electing candidates Lynn
Bartlett, Philip Power and Mary
Wheeler to SGC. Liberals gen-
erally did well in that election
as Voice won three of the five
contested seats-the best percent-
age the party has yet recorded
in an election. Some 4700 students
voted, indicating an upsurge in
public confidence in SGC.
Meanwhile, the local civil
rights group, the Ann Arbor Di-
rect Action Committee, ended in
November almost nine months of
weekly picketing of Kresge and
Woolworth stores. A spokesman
explained that picketing had to
give way to "more immediate ac-
tivities." These included distribut-
ing leaflets in support of the
state's anti-housing discrimina-
tion Rule Nine, rallying public
support for a University stand
against discrimination, and orga-
nizing a workshop in non-violence.
AFTER a post-election period of
inactivity, Voice launched its own
civil rights campaign to raise food
for dispossessed sharecroppers in
Fayette County, Tennessee. Ne-
groes had been evicted from their
land and cut off from local credit
for attempting to register and
Through the winter of 1960-61,
all of Voice's energies were thrown
into this project. Several Voice
members were arrested in Tennes-
see while on a food delivery mis-
The Daily gave ample publicity
to the project, complete with an
account of the arrests and a two-
page spread by Hayden about the
Fayette "freedom village."
SGC BEGAN in the fall of 1960
the long, slow, time-consuming
process of implementing its anti-
membership selection discrimina-
tion policy.
After a month's debate, the
council in December agreed to col-
lect statements on membership se-
lection practices from fraternities
and sororities. The statements
were to include membership claus-
es of the organization's constitu-
tion and an interpretation of its
meaning. The documents were to
remain secret and would be held
by the Office of Student Affairs.
The collection of statements was
designed to obtain material to help
implement the membership regu-
lations. However, council could not
agree on the significance and
scope of its decision. Nothing was

then done to insure collection of
complete statements.
CIVIL RIGHTS was confused
with alleged crime and business
policies in the most lively minor
controversy of the 1960-61 school
In January, 1961, the Union an-
nounced that it was setting up a
committee to rid the MUG of
so-called "undesirables" who were
engaged in "illegal activities" or
making "excessive" noises.
A special committee was estab-
lished to investigate changing the
tone of the money-losing Michi-
gan Union Grill so that it would
draw freer-spending fraternity-
sorority types.
Unfortunately, many of the
persons who were considered un-
desirables were Negroes. On March
9, 1961, the Union evicted a non-
student, Joseph Harrison, from
the MUG. He charged he was or-
dered to leave simply because he
was a non-student and implied
racial discrimination was behind
the undesirables policy.
Harrison complained to the

ing "sit-in" in the MUG. Even-
tually, the juke box was removed
as the first room was renovated
to attract a classier clientele.
The tactlessness of the Union
drew the ire of The Daily and
of some students who saw Ne-
groes' civil rights being violated-
here at the University, not far
away in the South. Its high-
handed banning of card playing
and the activities of supervisory
personnel led to ill-feeling.
A byproduct of the controversy
was the election of Daily reporter
Michael Olinick, the staff mem-
ber who covere l the undesirables
incident, to the Union Board of
Directors. It was the first time
in many years that a non-retiring
Union student staff member was
not elected to the policy-making
ON OCT. 14, 1960, Sen. John F.
Kennedy, candidate for president,
spoke on the steps of the Mich-
igan Union. He asked the several
thousand students that waited un-
til 2 a.m. to see him if they would


peace corps to Kennedy in Toledo
the week before the election.
After Kennedy's victory, the
group prepared plans for a peace
corps and held a weekend sym-
posium on the subject. The Gus-
kins drummed up support for the
corps at a Washington conference
over the 1960 Christmas vacation.
ACWR working papers on the
Peace Corps proved to be instru-
mental in establishing the corps.
Ironically, the University has nev-
er been a major center in corps
training, despite all the prelim-
inary work done here.
A NEW VEHICLE for spread-
ing and broadening student con-
cern with the world was also de-
veloped in 1960-61. Several stu-
dent leaders including Hayden at-
tended the Challenge conference
at Yale andi were determined to
bring this speaker program to
Challenge was not just meant
to be a lecture series. It featured
important speakers on selected
topics, but also included seminars
for further study in the area.
"As university students today
... we find that our environment
does not enable us to understand
these contemporary challenges .
They remain strangely divorced
from our sphere of concern. Stu-
dents all over the country and at
Michigan need and are demand-
ing a program to help explore
these issues with depth and vigor.
Challenge is such a program, and
the encouragement of an active
response to them," its constitution
The Challenge of Civil Liberties
was the first program in fall
1960. But it was not a total suc-
cess in that semester. Evaluating
the program, Glick, then assum-
ing the Challenge spokesmanship,
emphasized problems that were to
haunt the group throughout its
existence. The incisiveness and
worthwhileness of the speakers
were uneven. Some added little to
the program.
THE SEMINAR program in liv-
ing units and elsewhere - the
depth part of the project -- al-
ways drew mild to apathetic re-
sponses. Few students were will-
ing to take the time or, do the
added work involved in partici-
pating in the seminars. They were
not well publicized. Faculty mem-
bers were not sure of their role.
They 'were to be resource persons,
but tended to play a more domi-
nant role.
However, members were opti-
mistic that these problems could
be overcome. In fact, student ac-
tivists on campus were in many
cases optimistic. They had rea-
son, for the heydey of the stu-
dent activist renaissance at the
University was just around the
TOMORROW: The story of the
student activists' greatest semester.




THE WORK OF THE University of Michigan Student Employes
Union this fall had its origins in 1960 with the creation of Voice.

In today's article, Philip Sutin
Challenge, the Peace Corps and
Daily, which ran the story, giving
it prominent play for several days.
THE UNION stood firm on its
policy. It refused to more tightly
define "undesirable," leaving the
impression that discrimination did
Later, it installed a juke box
and banned card playing, much to
the ire of regular MUG patrons.
Several activists associated with
the Guild House, a haven for lib-
erals and the religious center of
the Congregational and related
churches, held a monopoly-play-

traces the development of Voice,
civil rights movements.
be willing to serve in a volunteer
corps overseas.
The response two weeks later
was "Americans Committed to
World Responsibility." The orga-
nization was established by Alan
and Judith Guskin, two graduate
students active in Voice, and John
and Margaret Dwyer, also gradu-
ate students.
The group did not campaign
for a specific form of volunteer
organization, but for some sort
of "international civil service for
the United Nations."
It presented a petition for a


Ambiguity Surrounds U.S. Aims in Viet Nam

WE HAVE never had, at least so
far as I know, any straight-
forward explanation of why the
administration persists in keeping
iIts war aims uncertain. The cru-
cial uncertainty is whether or not
the administration intends to im-
pose as yet undefined conditions
which must be met before it will
agree to a cease-fire and the be-
ginning of negotiations for an

can be no ceasefire, no end, that
is to say, to the Viet Cong ter-
rorism in South Viet Nam and
to the American bombing in North
Viet Nam, until Hanoi does-does
what? Nobody knows what. Sec-
retary of State Dean Rusk never
says what. And supposing that
Hanoi did show a willingness to
"leave its neighbors alone";how
would the administration know
whether to believe Hanoi or how
long to believe it?

Bundy, like Rusk, would not spell
out the preconditions.
We are told that there are no
signs from Hanoi that it wants a
cease-fire followed by talks. To
insist on this is to labor the ob-
vious and it is beside the point.
Considering the military situation
in South Viet Nam, it would be
surprising indeed if Hanoi did not
think, or at least say, that it was
in sight of a smashing victory.
There can be no guarantee that

Union, nor the non-aligned na-
tions, nor the Holy See, nor the
secretary general of the United
If the administration clarifies
its position on a cease-fire, it will
be taking the first indispensable
step toward emerging from our
present near isolation in Southeast
Asia into what could become mem-
bership in a great diplomatic co-
alition for peace and order.

A diplomatic action on a suffi-
cient scale to produce some re-
sults will have to include indica-
tions-through private channels,
say of the Soviet Union and of
France-of what kind of govern-
ment might be set up in Saigon,
and of the possible relations be-
tween North and South Viet Nam
which, according to the Geneva
agreements of 1954, are notztwo
sovereign nations but two zones
of on nsvereign na~tion-


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