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March 21, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-03-21

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Page 4-Wednesday, March 21, 1979-The Michigan Daily

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

Apartheid comes ho
Students taste the ty

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 135

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Smith's reply misses point

EFENDING THE Regents'
behavior in last week's confron-
tation with more than 200 students,
iterim University President Allan
Smith has argued that "there is no
legitimate basis for allegations that
the Regents have failed to face up to
the issde of divestment.' He claim§ the
Board has consistently approached the
divestment question in a manner "en-
tirely consistent with the way of life
which I believe decisions of this kind
must be faced at the University of
Michigan."
Unfortunately, Smith is right in his
latter point. The Regents' approach to
the divestment controversy has been
reminiscent of past policy decisions
made by the Board.
The Regents have not faced up to the
issue of divestment since making their
weak resolution in March which
resulted in sending letters to banks and
corporations holding University in-
vestments. The Board, at the same
time, promised it would review its
divestiture policy within a year.
The year passed and the Regents
failed to discuss the issue. All they did
was to acknowledge the responses
from the banks and corporations
during a meeting in October.
But that review, which failed to
evaluate the specific responses of the
47 corporations holding University in-

vestments and analyze the effect of the
Sullivan Principles within South
Africa, can not be viewed as a serious
and thorough discussion of the issue.
Furthermore, Anne Fullerton's 22-
page report gave the Regents
significant new information regrding
the Sullivan Principles. This report
disputes the effectiveness of the
Sullivan guidelines, information which
should be very relevant and warrant
further discussion of the issue.
Smith, while criticizing the students'
disruption of the meeting, said the
"real issue at the meeting was not even
whether the time had come for another
look at the policy."
But that was the point. By breaching
its promise of a year ago, the Board
was inviting the students to disrupt the-
meeting as they rightfully did. By
trying to push through compromise
measures that wouldn't adequately
deal with the issue, the Regents deser-
ved the responses they received.
On Monday, the Senate Assembly
voted to condemn the actions of the
protesters who disrupted the Regents
meeting.
But again, this opposition to the
disruption avoids the central
issue-why the students were
protesting. The students had a just
reason to protest, but unfortunately
others in the University community
have failed to see that view.

Interim University President Allan Smith's
"Report to The University Community,"
distributed Monday with the University
Record and reprinted in yesterday's Daily,
was an outrage to all democratically-minded
individuals. Smith and others have asserted
that the University is open to democratic in-
put by students, and that last week's
takeovers of the Regents meetings were
therefore "lanentable" actions. In fact, the
University is not open to such input;
moreover, it was the University's lack of
responsiveness that forced students into the
only course of action left open to
them-disruption.
Smith contradicts himself when he writes,
"a jarring and discordant note is struck when
intimidation and disruption seek to displace
ordered discussion and debate as the mode of
operation in the University," for "order" to
Smith and the Board of Regents means a lack
of discussion and debate.
OTHERS HAVE argued that last week's
sprotestor's refused to engage the Regents in a
meaningful dialogue, preferring instead to
chant disruptive slogans until the Regents
were forced to recess. These individuals must
not have been at the meetings, for if they had,
they surely would have seen that it was the
Regents who refused to respond to the
peaceful requests of the protestors. Only after
it became painfully clear that the Regents
were not going to respond did the protest
become disruptive-again, the Regents had
left the demonstrators no other option.
In many ways, the University's governing
system is hauntingly similar to the South
African system the demonstrators were
fighting against; a small group of people, in
this case upper-level administrators, rule a
much larger group of people, the students,
through the instruments of tyranny.
Thursday and Friday's events were the
culmination of a long history of anti-
democratic actions by the University. If you
are a frequent reader of this newspaper, you
should be familiar with these facts by now:
that the University's Committee on Com-
munications recommended divestiture of our
South African holdings more than a year ago,
that the Senate Advisory Committee of
Financial Affairs (SACFA) recommended
divestiture of corporations failing to uphold
the Sullivan Principles, that 10,000 members
of the University community have signed
petitions favoring divestiture, and that
students voted 3 to 1 for divestiture in last
year's Michigan Student Assembly election.
Yet the Regents voted against divestiture,
although they vowed last March to review
their stand within a year.
LAST WEEK'S Regents' meeting marked
a year since their anti-divestiture vote, but
they seemed to have forgotten their promise.
Thursday's disruptions, however, forced-
Regent James Waters (D-Muskegon) to agree
to placing the divestiture question' on the
agenda of Friday's meeting, when he said he
could't attend that meeting, Regent .Sarah
Power (D-Ann Arbor), agreed to introduce
the motion on Waters' behalf.

By Mike Taylor

Friday morning, more than 200 peaceful
protestors were stunned to see Regent
Thomas Roach (D-Grosse Point) introduce a
motion that Power later said "goes even
beyond the intent of Mr. Waters' resolution."
But to the demonstrators, the motion, which
referred the matter back to, SACFA for fur-
ther review-with no deadline placed on the
committee's report, was completely
inadequate. With the hope of meaningful
dialogue on divestiture shattered, the demon-
strators resorted to the only option left open to
them-renewed disruption. After protestors
chanted "we want action and we want it
now," the Regents made a quick exit.
When they returned 25 minutes later, they
gave graduate student Annie Fullerton 5
minutes to present a 22-page report on the 47
corporations in which the University holds
stock that operate in South Africa. Although
Fullerton proved that not one of the cor-
poratigns listed meets the Sullivan principles
fully, the Regents did not respond. That was
the extent of their committment to
"dialogue.",
THE DISRUPTION resumed, forcing= the
Regents to recess again. Rather than promise
a full and open discussion of divestiture at the
April meeting, as the protestors demanded,
they secured a court order which allowed
them to meet in private, thereby circumven-
ting the Open Meedtings Act. The Board did
agree not to place the divestiture on next
month's agenda if SACFA's report is in by
then, but this "promise" was meaningless.
since they would guarantee that the report
would be ready on time. (Of course, we know
from the history of this case alone that the
University does not always keep its
promises.)
Though the Regents' lack of responsiveness
shocked many people, it should have come as
no surprise to serious followers of University
affairs. As indicated earlier, the University is
not a democracy, and is not prepared to ac-
cept informed input from students on issues
that concern them. Students have several
places to channel their opinions, but none of
them have much relevance to University dec
ision-making.
Some students serve on low-level commit-
tees in departments and in the schools and
colleges but important decisions are made by
high-level committees, including the
Executive Committees of schools and
colleges and meetings of the Executive Of-
ficers of the University, which are conducted
behind closed doors with no student input.
STUDENTS CAN also voice their concerns
at the public comments section of Regents
meetings, but the Board invariably refuses to
respond to these comments. In fact, decisions
on virtually all issues have been made
without significant input before students have
a chance to tell their side of the story as a
Regents meeting, for such meetings are more

ime:
ranny
elaborate exercises in choreography than
places where key University issues areJ
resolved.
Regental approval of "decisions made at
lower 'levels is a mere formality; as the
Residential College Student-Faculty Resear-
ch Community's report on the workings of the
University, "Conflict and Power on The
Campus: Studies In The Political Economy of
the University of Michigan," indicated, the
Regents have only rejected the ad-
ministration's recommendations three tinmes
over the last nine years.
Thus, when Smith talks about "order," he is
really talking about an intricate system of
deception that can't adjust to unexpected in-
formation sources or demands for action.
When Regents express apprehension about
making a decision before consulting the
"proper authorities," they mean that they are
not really supposed to act before getting the
word from the men (and they are, indeed,hall
men) who really run the University-the
_Uxecutive Officers.
OF COURSE, it is within the power of the
Regents to make changes in their scheduled
agenda, and it was with this hope that last
week's protestors acted. But an inherently
undemocratic body usually ignores protest as
last week's failure to respond clearly showed.
Though support for divestiture on this cam-
pus is widespread, though South Africans in-
volved in the liberation of their country have
called for complete U.S. corporate with-
drawal, Smith and-the Regents continue to in-
sist that they "know best." One wonders who
the "knowledgeable persons" Smith mentions
in his open letter are; they certainly are not
very prevalent here on campus.
What can be done? As long as the Univer-
sity administration resists attempts to
democratize decision-making, protests will
always exist, and Smith will not have the
peace and quiet he so clearly desires.
Divestiture, of course, is not the only salient
issue on campus; Professor Joel Samoff's
tenure denial case continues to attract strong
student support, and tuition may well be an
important issue in the years to come as costs
continue to skyrocket. The answer then, is
obvious: give students equal say on all
University committees, and make the selec-
tion of the University President and the Board
of Regents the responsibility of the University
community (although the presence of a
Presdent and Board of Regents in a
democratic university is a qrestionable mat-
ter), and the likelihood of further "in-
timidation and disruption" will be greatly
reduced.
As students, we must continue to fight that
struggle, though its eventual resolution does
not seem close. In the meantime, we must let
our concerns be known through the few chai-
nels the'University provides, "and if tht
doesn't work, as it usually doesn't, be
prepared to disrupt a systerh that is not ours
Mike Taylor is a Daily Arts

Cellar group hurts IWW

T HE UNIVERSITY Cellar Board of
Directors has devised a commit-
tee to discuss the Cellar's managerial
structure outside of contract
negotiations with the Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW) Local 60,
which represents Cellar employees.
The committee is a blatant attempt to
undermine the union's purpose. It is a
meager and belated offer to appease
employees who"deiand input into a
structure that would change their
current collective method of decision-
making at the store.
The IWW opened its first contract
negotiations last week. The employees
have repeatedly expressed a desire to
the Cellar Board of Directors to
discuss the store's managerial struc-
ture during the talks, a subject which
has recently caused controversy and
tension at the store.
Last month, the board posted a
hierarchical structure that would
realign decision-making authority
from employees to several managers,
without consulting any employees.
Cellar workers responded to the lack of
their input in the decision with a two-
day sick-in and*a written protest. The
Michigan Student Assembly, which
appoints students to the board, also
protested. The board, three weeks af-
ter posting the structure, agreed to set
up a committee to talk about alter-

native structures. The committee is
composed of two managers, two
student members of the board, and two
non-union employees.
The union opposes the committee.
because it by-passes the bargaining
process. Union leaders have main-
tained that a change in the store's
structure is a change in working con-
ditions, and, should therefore be
negotiated during bargaining talks.
Union members often have stated
that they are willing to hammer out a
structure with management and the
board, so that a compromise including
input from all concerned parties can be
reached. But management and the
board have stubbornly refused to con-
sider such a reasonable request.
Therefore, the union's demand that the
managerial structure be negotiated at
the bargaining table is appropriate.
Board members have claimed that
negotiating the structure now will lock
that issue into bargaining sessions for
future contracts. They say this is a
"dangerous precedent." It is a
precedent, but it is not dangerous. In
fact, setting this precedent now will
ensure that input from management,
the board, and employees will be the
basis for Cellar policies in the future,
and that any move to delete this issue
from the negotiations agenda will be
construed as an unfair labor practice.

staffer.

Letters
Employee-o wned businesses
maaeettriig n

parll ndfnacalcn

To the Daily:
As a member of the State
'Legislature, I recently in-
troduced House Bill 4119, which
attacks Michigan's problem of
unemployment and "runaway
plants" by authorizing the
Department of Labor to assist
workers in establishing "em-
ployee-owned corporations."
Such corporations would buy-out
and continue to operate
businesses that are closing down
or moving out of the state.
Over 200,000 jobs were lost in
Michigan due to the shutdown of
some 4,000 plants between 1967
and 1973. In many cases, the
closings were not because the
companies could not make ,a
profit, but for other reasons, in-
cluding owner retirement,
takeover of the local company by
a multi-state conglomerate, and
decisions to relocate in another
state to maximize profits. In
these situations, it is often
feasible and certainly in the in-
terest of the employees, their
families, and the local com-
munity, to keep the local business
in operation.
On numerous occasions in the

last seveal years, employees and
their local communities have ac-
ted in these circumstances to
form a corporation and buy the
local facility, keeping their jobs
and the payroll in their town. An
example of this is found in the
Lansing area where Mississippi
Structural Steel Company was,
purchased by its employees and
kept in operation under a new
name.
There are a growing number of
such firms in other states, such
as Indiana's SoutheBend Lathe
Company. With help from the
city of South Bend, its employees
received a $5 million federal sub-
sidy to purchase and operate the
company, which is now a going
concern. The employees if
Asbestos Group, Inc., with the
help of the State of Vermont, ob-
tained $1.5 million in federally
guaranteed loans to buy their
company's operations and stay in
business.
Experience in these and other
.cases indicates that employees
are willing and able to buy into
employee-ownership in order to
save their jobs. Communities are
also anxious to keep local

payrolls and financial con-
tributions. Limited financing is
also available through the
Federal Development Ad-
ministration and Federal tax
exemption programs to fund em-
ployee stock ownership plans.
What is lacking most at this
time is a state agency that can
bring these elementsntogether in
the face of a threatened shut-
down. That is what my bill, House
Bill 4119, would provide.
This proposal would establish a
"Program of Assistance to
Worker-Owned Corporations"
in the Department of Labor,
mandating that two full-time
positions and clerical support be
assigned to staff this program.
Department of Labor officials
would meet with the employees,
corporate officials, union
representatives, and local com-
munity leaders to investigate the
possibility of converting to em-
ployee-ownership when a com-
pany decided to close. If em-
ployee-ownership proved
feasible, the Department would
then work with the employees to
establish a corporation, obtain
financing, employee-

management training, and
provide other necessary resour-
ces.
The Department of Labor is
already responsible for
establishingsprograms of
assistance to workers and local
communities facing a loss of jobs.
It is equally experienced in the
area of finding federal financial
support for assistance programs
in its role as prime contractor for
Federal Manpower Programs:.
This act would provide the depar-
tment with an additional option to
use in assisting a community
threatened by the loss of jobs.
The saving of just a small num-
ber of jobs would more than pay
for the cost of the program.
House Bill 4119 involves an in-
novative approach to unem-
ployment in Michigan and a pilot
program to test that approach.
The bill contains a fiveyear "sun-
set" provision requiring the
Department of Labor to evaluate
the program's progress after four
years and report to the
Legislature -with recommen-
dations for its continuation, im-
provement, or termination.
-Perry Bullard,
State Representative

China must avoid conflict

T HE CHINESE withdrawal from
Vietnam brings a long overdue
conclusion to one of the most poten-
tially dangerous conflicts in recent
years. The Chinese retreat, after a
merciless 17-day invasion, is only the
first step in a series of moves that must
occur in order to restore peace to that
region.
After Vietnam invaded PolPot's
regime in Cambodia in December, the
leaders of the People's Republic of
China vowed their forces would
"punish",the Vietnamese. DengXiao-
ping and other Chinese officials didn't
wait long to carry out their vow:
Only a brief period to visit the
United States and court Jimmy
Carter delayed China's invasion.
Carter's policy to normalize
relations with China was certainly a
responsible diplomatic initiative but if
China wants to emerge as a self-reliant
sunrnnwer and acqire world

incursion into Cambodia. But that
Vietnamese invasion does not justify
China's response. The Vietnamese
must also learn to restrain their
aggressiveness or the chances for long-
standing peace will be minimal.
It is clear that one of the major ob-
jectives of the Chinese offensive was to
alleviate the military burden from
toppled Pol Pot forces in Cambodia.
Fortunately, though, the Chinese did
not sustain the incursion in hopes of
restoring the oppressive Pol Pot
regime to power.
Throughout the entire conflict in
Southeast Asia, the Carter Ad-
ministration had honorably main-
tained a policy of non-intervention.
Republican critics in Congress and
hard-liners in the administration have
appealed to Carter to assume a more
active role in the region. But the
president, to his credit, has kept the
U. S nut of it and averted a possible

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