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November 10, 1978 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-10

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, November 10, 1978-Page 5

Nuclear foe wants labor help

GEO reps to meet wit

By R.J. SMITH
' Organized labor would benefit from
he'replacement of nuclear energy with
solar and other forms of safe and inex-
pensive power, Harvey Wasserman,
one of the country's leading opponents
of" 'nuclear energy, told about 100
listeners at the Michigan Union
13llroom last night.
'People who work in *unions and in
the factories eat the same food, drink
the same water, and breath the same
air that the people who don't work in the
factories do ... but they are on the line
'.5cause they were told by the industry
that their jobs, their livelihood depen-
ded on the untramelled expansion of in-
dustry," Wasserman said.
"BUT WHAT WE'VE found since is
that this infinite expansion promotes
more unemployment."
Wasserman, a 1967 University
graduate is the author of "Harvey
Wasserman's History of the United
States," along with - numerous
magazine articles. He is also one of the
original members of the Clamshell
Alliance, the most famous anti-nuclear
group in America.
According to Wasserman, American
industry looks for ways to grow while
limiting total expenditures such as em-
ployees' salaries. This practice is thus
.capitalintensive" rather than "labor
intensive," because its prime goal is to
make money rather than create jobs.
THE USE OF NUCLEAR power, ac-
cording to Wasserman, is a prime
example'of capital intensive practices.
"A power company, as it's'telling you
you're going to have to move, says
when it comes to your town 'we're going
to create a number of jobs to make this
plant," he said. But he emphasized that
after the construction of the plant, only
about 200 people are needed to maintain
it
"After construction, nuclear reactors
have the worst jobs-per-dollar ratio of
any industry in the world," he said.
He also said even the construction of
the plant-which in the case of a plant
in Seabrook, New Hampshire was plan-
ned to take around 3,000 workers and
ten years to build-hardly helps the
local community.
"IN SE4ABROOK, they took twoem-
ployees fromt the state, and the rest
came froi upstate or Massachuset-
ts-they had people commuting a hun-
~d~dmilesa day," Wasserman stated.

Jobs could be
only by turning
energy and work
usage more effi
vation is labor it
'People
unions an
eat the sat
the same
breath the
the people
in the fact(
they arec
cause the)
the indus
jobs, their
pended on
led expan
try.'
-Har

created, he explained, talking about putting massive solar]
to other areas for energy sattelites into orbit that would
ing to make our energy collect solar energy, and beam it down
cient. Energy conser- to earth as microwaves so that Detroit
ntensive, said Wasser- Edison could collect them and sell
them," Wasserman said later.
who work in Wasserman also spoke out against
the high, unstable cost of nuclear reac-
d in factories tors, and of the utility companys'
inability to pay for the ones they buy.
me food, drink "The cost of nuclear energy is always
water, and going up, and after 30 years, they still
', don't understand much about it, they
same air that can't make it safe or reliable," he ex-
who don't work plained. The plant in Seabrook, New
Hampshire, was first estimated in the
pries do . . . but 60s to cost the state $250 million, but the
the line be- price was later raised by about $9
million, Wasserman said. Presently,
y were told by however, the conservative price put on
." the plant is at least $2.5 billion, with
try that their some reports saying it will cost as much
r livelihood de- as $4 billion.
Earlier in the afternoon, Wasserman
i the untramel- had made an appearance at an anti-
of nuclear energy rally on the Diag, which
sion of indus- began at noon. His Ann Arbor ap-
pearance was sponsored by the Friends
of the Arbor Alliance, a local-based an-
vey Wasserman ti-nuclear group.

By SHELLEY WOLSON
Representatives of the Graduate
Employees Organization (GEO) have
tentatively scheduled an informal
meeting with four University Regents
in hopes of achieving a solution to
current labor disputes between GEO
and the University.
The talk is slated for December 5th,
when GEO legal defense committee
members will explain past grievances
and current GEO demands.
"We'll just talk and see what their
response is," said legal defense chair-
man Mike Clark.
HEARINGS HAVE been in progress
since last May, under the direction of
the Michigan Employment Relations
Commission (MERC), to determine
whether Graduate Student Assistants
(GSAs) are students or employees.
Should MERC decide they are em-
ployees, as GEO asserts, GSAs would
gain the right to bargain collectively.
Five Teaching Assistants (TAs) en-
ded GEO's round of testimony yester-
day, as University representative
Robert Vercruysse continued his at-
tempt to prove GSAs' work has been
primarily used for their own disser-
tations, rather than to benefit the
University.

But GEO . counsel Mark Cousens
maintained that even if the GSAs' work
did benefit themselves, it was at the
same time aiding the University.
SOCIOLOGY TA Melissa Clark was
the 23rd and last witness to testify. In
her testimony, she presented the
results from a GEO-conducted survey,
which provided information on every
GSA's job status. Vercruysse, however,
objected to the survey.
"My basic objection is that this sur-
vey is from a self-serving group and it's
a lot of hearsay answers. This survey
was done by a party with an interest in
the proceedings," Vercruysse asserted.
"This information was compiled in
order to reflect the balance of the

h Regents
bargaining unit. It shows that the wit-
nesses we've presented so far are
backed up by some records," Cousens
replied.
After a brief session, GEO decided to
withdraw the exhibits. Administrative
Law Judge Shlomo Sperka then adjour-
ned the hearings, which will resume on
December 19.
Meanwhile, GEO closed its presiden-
tial nominations last Thursday with
former GEO vice-president Marty
Bombeck the only nominee. Ballots
with her name and space for a write-in
candidate were mailed to all fully-paid
GEO members yesterday. The votes
must be turned in by November 22 at
6:00 p.m.

I- - -- - - "- - -"

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man. As an example of energy usage
that could be corrected by conservation
practices, Wasserman turned* to
Detroit: "Look at the Rennaisance Cen-
ter-it looks like they tried to build the
smallest building they could for using
the most amount of energy."
Such conservation jobs would involve
things like adding insulation, creating
energy efficient buildings, and
redesigning other energy-using
operations.
IT IS IMPORTANT to note, Wasser-
man said, that these kinds of jobs would
not be the $10 or $20 an hour jobs" that a
nuclear worker would receive, but said
they can be "as high as we want them to
be."
Solar energy, said Wasserman, would
produce even more jobs than conser-
vation would. "You have copper tubing,
and hook it up with a few simple
devices ... you bang it out, and stick it
on the. rooof, and that all takes
somebody to do it. Now, to equal a
nuclear plant, of course, it may take a
million of these. But that is where the
jobs are," he explained.
"But when you talk to (Department
of Energy Secretary James)
Schelesinger about solar energy, he's

410

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