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November 03, 1978 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-03

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iday, November 3, 1978-The Michigan Daily

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom.

Workers differwith Carter on inflatior

o. LXXXIX, No. 50

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
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President Carter will have a difficult time
convincing rank-and-file union workers that
his new wage guidelines call for equal
sacrifices from labor and management, union
sources say.
In most major industries, contracts
negotiated by union leaders must be approved
by majority vote of the membership. Even
though Carter has picked up support from
UAW and Teamster officials, his success in
holding down wage increases in the 1979
round of collective bargaining will depend on
overcoming rank-and-file suspicions
concerning his program's fairness.
Union sources say that workers may
question the fairness of the following aspects
of Carter's plan:
The wage guidelines are calculated on a
percentage basis-seven per cent increase
per year-which provides larger pay
increases for the wealthy.
"A trucking executive who already makes
ten times what a driver makes will be entitled
to ten times as much pay increase," said
Steve Early, spokesman for PROD, a rank-
and-file Teamsters group demanding
contract improvements in the 1979 trucking
negotiations affecting some 450,000 workers..
"If you make $100,000 a year, you would be
allowed an increase of $7,000, but if you make
$10,000 a year, you only get $700."
Percentages would also be used to calculate
the tax rebates Carter promises if inflation
runs too high. Under the rebate plan, the
taxpayers would be financing wage increases
which would normally be the employer's.
responsibility.
" For most firms, no guidelines are set for
profits. William Winpisinger, president of the
machinists union, said his members will not
accept the seven per cent wage guidelines
when, for example, the natural gas producers
will be receiving at least $50 billion in added
profits as a result of the Carter-backed
energy package.
Even if Carter's goal of six per cent
inflation is met, prices for new gas will be
allowed to rise nearly 14 per cent next year,
and another ten per cent in each of the
following five years, Winpsinger noted.
Before endorsing these price increases,
Carter, himself had labeled the added

By Matt Wi
revenues "an enormous windf
profits such as these will not
under the Carter inflation prog
" While making up for inflti
goal in bargaining, another is t
of increased profits during t
preceding contract. Carte
allowance for workers in that s
For example, United A
members were recently rem
union magazine that in par
increased productivity, Gener
Ford Motor Co. enjoyed u
profits in 1977 totaling nearly $
members have received only 1
increases called for under th
contract, and can be expected
A variety of unio
agreed that worker
realize that they ar
those hardest
inflation, but said1
not mean they will
with the Carter plan
up for that fact in next year's b,
No guidelines are set for c
income, such as dividend
primarily received by the
citizens. While workers' fringe
be limited, many typical
executives would not. F
executives could be comp
increased stock options, trave
company recreational facil
which would count toward the
pay hike limit.
Health and safety on th
reduced.
"Carter says that workers u
than a seven per cent increas

tt agreeing to changes in work rules that save
the company money," said one union health
all profit." Yet and safety expert. "Knowing our members
t be controlled can't make it on the seven per cent, the
ram. companies will pressure them to go easy on
on is one union certain health and safety protections, and our
o claim a share people aren't going to be very happy about
he life of the that choice.
r makes no "At the same time," he added, "Carter is-
ituation. setting new restrictions on government health
uto Workers and safety regulations, although we don't
inded in their know that those regultions contribute to
rt because of inflation. No one has tried to figure out how
al Motors and much we are reducing inflation by reducing
nprecedented injuries and diseases which cause high
5 billion. UAW medical costs, absenteeism, and low
the basic wage productivity."
ieir three-year * The president did not adopt proposals
to try to make from a new citizen-labor coalition which
wants to concentrate on reducing inflation in
four "basic necessities"-food, energy,
health care, and housing. The coalition
1 sources argues that outlays in those four areas make
s should up at least 70 per cent of household spending
for four-fifths of the U.S. population.
e among "We want a national health care system to
control medical costs, a lowering of interest
hit by rates to make housing affordable again, and
this does new ways of controlling the huge profits of
middlemen in the food industry," said a staff
go along member for one of the unions in the coalition.
"Carter said nothing concrete about any of
-. these. And of course he couldn't mention
energy because his whole energy program is
built on raising prices, not lowering them."
A variety of union sources' agreed that
argaining. workers realize that they are among those hit
ertain types of hardest by inflation, but said this does not
s, which are mean they will go along with the Carter plan.
most wealthy "Carter wants workers to tighten their
benefits would belts," said PROD's Early. "But it looks like
benefits for those who are the fattest already are
or example, supposed to tighten the least. I don't think
ensated with Teamster members or anybody else is going
4, or access to to buy it."

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ities, none of
seven per cent
e job may be
vho want more
e can do so by

Matt Witt, former editor of the United
Mine Worker's Journal is a Washington,
D. C. free* lance journalist. This article
was written for Pacific News Service.

i

SLibrary and
SYMPATHETIC HAND reached
A down from the administration
.building earlier this week and created
more study space for students who
.,Ave' found themselves cramped into
the University libraries this semester.
The action, apparently spurred by
concern of Literary College Dean
.- Frye, after: a single complaint
by a studeit, was commendable.
it is only a stop gap solution to a
14irge problem that involves the
6kanging attitudes of students, the
cal austerity of the University
Iministration, and the stinginess of
b state legislature.
tudents need to study in a library
f is not overly crowded and noisy.
lassrooms fill two-thirds of this
ed, but they simply are not a
I-rary. In classrooms there is no
acess to reference materials.
Students attending as fine an
iistitution as the University expect to
W able to work comfortably in a
diversity library. Students who,
ang with their parents, pay the
ennially escalating tuition costs at
t University deserve the facilities.
Tot only is there no room for
sudents to study in the University
l raries - particularly the
dergraduate Library - but
1 rarians are finding increasingly less
ace for books.
niversity administrators say that
ause of an austere budget more
1 rary space, in the form of a physical
ansion of the current plant, is only
long range goal. Dean Frye has

study space
visions of the UGLI and West
Engineering ultimately being
connected in some manner after the
Engineering College moves to North
campus sometime before 1985. The
University points, and rightly so, to the
state legislature's role in the funding
process.
The University currently has several
plant expansion requests or "capital
outlay requests" before the legislature
for approval. Some of the projects
have been waiting in Lansing since
1975. The taxpayers want to limit taxes
and the legislators approve small
outlays for higher education. The
University complains but the wall of
stinginess in Lansing is hard to crack.
So it would appear they need help.
When problems with state funding of
this institution hit so close to home that
they affect the very space students are
allotted for studying it is time for the
elected student representatives to take
an active role in getting revenue for
the University. Student
representatives have travelled to
Washington in the past to plead the
students' case for more financial aid;
Lansing, Michigan is much closed. The
Michigan Student Assembly should
appoint an active, full time committee
to lobby state legislatures for money
for student concerns.
When students vote MSA
representatives into office they
assume their representatives will take
an active role in protecting their
interests. When the next state budget is
approved it is our hope that students
will be heard in Lansing.

Letters to the Daily

Capitalist press
Tothe Daily:
The October 18 Daily carried
an editorial entitled "Clericals
get another chance.. . And GEO
DOES TOO ,(sic)." In this
editorial the Daily's budding
young journalists of the
capitalistic press declare their
support for the OCC and GEO.
Fine. Nobody in the labor
movement is going to object to
liberal journalists endorsing
union organizing drives. But the
labor militants have learned
from 150 years of experience that
liberal journalists, like liberal
politicians, can be trusted about
as far as they can be thrown.
Sure enough. Having briefly
patted campus labor on the head,
the Daily editors then mount
their pulpits and fulminate
against the evils of letting union
members - mere workers! -
discuss and debate the issues
facing their -runions.
"Factionalism!" the student
editors thunder from their
rickety pulpits. Implicit in this
denunciation is the view that
discussion and debate are all
right for the hired mouthpieces of
the capitalists - the journalists
and politicians - but not for
workers. The Daily editors don't
mind at all when the Democratic
tweedle-dees and Republican
tweedle-dums puff themselves up
and proclaim their truly
insignificant differences to be
profaound differences "of
principle."
The political differences
between the militants and the
bureaucrats within the labor
movements are, however, quite
profound. While the squabbles
between the twin parties of
capitalism are only a show to
deceive the workers, the political
struggles in the unions are for
real. In a way they can't possibly
understand, the Daily editors are
right when they credit UM
management with having
"consistently and effectively
promoted factionalism" within
the campus unions. This
"factionalism" is the fight of the
union rank-and-file for militant
and democratic unionism, a fight
which must be waged against the
promanagem ent labor
bureaucrats.
The Daily editors and other
intellectual representatives of
the capitalists are instinctively

leaders. Hence, the Daily editors
hail the Democrat Regent Waters
as GEO's "ray of hope."
Nonsense!
In defending their ,leavohe-
thinking- o-us line, capjt LJ} a
journalists and politicians never
hesitate to trample on the truth.
Thus, the Daily editors make the
outrageous accusation that CDU
- the only organized force
actively fighting decertification
over the summer of 1976 -
"worked to dissolve Local 2001."
The experience student
journalists get on the Daily staff
should prepare them well for
future jobs with the New York
Times, helping the Democrats
cover up the next Vietnam or the
Republicans the next Chile.
No, liberal journalists and
politicians have nothing to offer
the labor movement. Workers
must rely on their own thinking,
their own organizations and their
own leaders. Pleas from student
journalists and promises from
capitalist politicians will not halt
management's anti-labor
offensive. But campus labor,
relying on the power of 12,000
campus workers to shut UM
down, can stop management
dead in its tracks through a
campus-wide strike when the
AFSCME Local 1583 contrat
expires in March 1979.
-Clericals for a
Democratic Union
Concerned women
To the Daily:
In regards to the Nov. 7th
election, it is very distressing to
note that a major concern of all
women has been consistently
downplayed not only by the
media, but by the candidates
themselves. Here in Michigan,
the question is not whether
abortion is legal (the Supreme
Court in 1973 ruled that abortion
is a legal option forwomen), but
whether a specific proportion of
the population - the poor -
should be denied this right.
The proposed Medicaid bill now
before the state legislature
appropriates but a token $1.00 to
cover the funding of
nontherapeutic abortions. As
Governor Milliken has so
accurately stated, "To
appropriate the grand sum of one
dollar for 'nontherapeutic'
abortions is a cruel hoax on a

of whether the poor should be
denied a declared right, he
interjects his own personal bias
and attacks the issue of abortion
in general. The Supreme Court
has struggled long and hard on
this issue and the decision has
been made.
Governor Milliken has
consistently shown his support
for the poor; he has twice vetoed
the bill appropriating but one
dollar's worth of Medicaid funds.
Fitzgerald, if elected, has
promised to endorse the
restrictive, legislation. Since
Medicaid funding will continue to
be an important issue in the state
legislature as well as the federal
government, we urge you to vote
for the following candidates:
William Milliken for Governor
Edward Pierce for State Sena-
tor District 18
Thomas Kaas for State Rep.
District 52
Perry Bullard for State Rep.
District 53
Carl Levin for the U.S. Senate
-Concerned University
Women
Democrat's morale
To the Daily:
Some weeks ago the Daily
printed a background article on
Democratic party activities in
Ann Arbor. As Chair of the Ann
Arbor Democratic Party, I would
like to offer to you readers my
opinion on some of the matters
touched on that article.
There is an often expressed
assumption by the public that the
losses sustained by the
Democrats in the 1978 City
election have caused morale
problems. While I too thought last
April.that this might be the case,
I can hinestly and happily report
that morale is exceptionally high.
The April election was decided
by a fraction of one per cent of the
vote in both the mayor's race and
the fourth ward council race. It is
indeed hard to lose by such a
small margin, but we Democrats
were very pleased to increase our
vote by an over 30 per cent from
1977. (We also had the advantage
of the campus registration and
political activity of the Coalition
for Better Housing.) After
analyzing the vote, Democrats
realized that the Republicans
were far closer to their
maximum vote than were the
Democrats. This fact plus the
rash and brazenly expedient

go to state senate candidate Ed
Pierce and his staff. Dr. Pierce
has again assembled an
exceptionally qualified and
active staff that has informally
assumed the leadership of the
Democratic effort.
The voters in November, and-
then again in April, will decide if
the Democratic campaigns have
succeeded. Local Democrats are
committed to succeed in both
elections and are proud to say
they are Democrats.
-Victor Adamo, Chair
*
Questionable letter
To the Daily:
It is unfortunate that the
genocide of Christian Lebonese
that is still going on in Lebanon
today is often misrepresented by
the media as a "civil war." For it
is not. The Syrian armyis
obviously today an occupatioh
force in Christian Lebanon.
Over the past few months, the
so-called Syrian peacekeepers
have completely destroyed the
Christian neighborhoods of
Beirut - homes, school,
hospitals, and churches -
devastating apartments, and
turning one-half of the Christian
population of Lebanon into
refugees within their own
country.
The Lebanese are today
looking forward to the liberation
of their lands, all their land, from
Syrian or other occupation. The
military groups of the Lebanese
Front, whose members are
Lebanese patriots of all ages,
from all social backgrounds, of
the two sexes, and from all the
Christian communities of
Lebanon, have so far
demonstrated their willingness to
resist the occupation of their land
at any cost and to achieve its
liberation from Syrian nazi
occupation and terror. In
particular, they will oppose all
attempts by the Syria n regime to
occupy and annex Lebanon
permanently. (In an interview
with the German magazine Der
Spiegel, September 6, 1978,
President Assad of Syria did not
deny his intent to "absorb"
Lebanon in spite of the resistance
of the Lebanese people.)
We were very surprised to read
in your issue of October 20 a letter
claiming that the Christian
militias (which is the name
commonly given to Christian
Lebanese popular resistance) do

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-THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
DIST. FIEtONEWSPAPER SYNDICATE, 197$

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