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This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

January 14, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-01-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


ABRIDGING FREEDOMS

41

It

can

happen

By TED STEIN
"We had just gotten off the expressway and were turn-
ing around in a gas station to get onto Washtenaw
when a car came up and blocked our exit,
"Two guys got out of the car. One rushed to the
driver's side while the other covered any possible escape
by the passengers. We had the doors locked. We thought
we were going to be robbed."
Does this opening scenario seem familiar? Have you
heard, or even worse, lived it before?
Five University students returning to Ann Arbor from
Detroit Metropolitan Airport can now answer in the af-
firmative. Their experience testifies to a growing disre-
gard for personal liberties in our society, daily violated by
the tactics of secretive government agencies.
FOR DOUG, who told me the story, and Terry, Howie,
Bob and Carol, governmental harassment is terrifyingly
real. They received a bitter taste of what has become for
blacks, students, and other "suspect" minorities a "rule-
of-thumb."
"After one guy flashed some papers in the window,
we finally opened the doors and got out," Doug con-
tinued. "The other guy motioned with a gun, which he
hid from view under his coat, for us to put our hands on
the car. Carol was frisked because she wanted to put her
hands in her pocket. It was cold."
Then the men secured the key to the trunk and pro-
ceeded to search through the luggage. "Who's from Dal-
las?" one of the men said, apparently noting something
on one of the bags. "I am", Bob said. The agent heard
the answer but kept on searching.
"The gun was their warrant", Doug related. "That's
the only reason I let them search the bags. It seemed just
like I would imagine a typical drug bust".
When the search concluded, and nothing apparently
of interest to the men was found, a hasty "thank you"
was mumbled and the men walked away. One of the stu-
dents requested and received an accurate identification

from the men and a reason for the search. A card and
badge were flashed, which said "Special Agent James D.
Stepp." The agent explained that there was a big ship-
ment of marijuana expected in Ann Arbor. then returned
to his car with his companion and sped off into the night,
leavingsa bewildered, frightened and freezing bunch of
students.

m d Tdbw * Syditt
can assure you, Ma'am, that we of the FBI are doing
everything possible to maintain respect for
law in this country!"

... The other agent "motioned with
a gun, which he hid from view under
his coat, for us to put our hands on
the car. Carol was frisked because she
wanted to put her hands in her pocket.
It was cold."
One of the students requested and
received an accurate identification
from the men and a reason for the
search..A card and badge were flashed.
The agent explained that there was a
big shipment of marijuana expected
in Ann Arbor, then returned to his car,
with his companion, leaving a bewild-
ered, frightened and freezing bunch
of students.
The hasty "trial and error" search to which these
students were subjected points to governmental agencies'
continued disregard for civil rights when dealing with
people whom they "suspect." One of the five students had
a flight bag from Dallas. Dallas is near Mexico. There

ere'...
is a lot of grass in Mexico, and they were students. "Sus-
pects" are made this way, Students and blacks and any
group of people who are in general, suspects. are apt to
be harassed on the basis of this kind of "suspicion" any-
time.
A BRIEF CHECK by The Daily showed that the De-
troit branch of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and
Dangerous Drugs employs a civil servant named James
D. Stepp, who is classified as a Special Investigator.
In that bureau, they don't let their special investiga-
tors talk to the media, so The Daily talked to a spokes-
man. He confirmed that James D. Stepp is an investiga-
tor but would say nothing else about his work or involve-
ment in any "incident."
According to that spokesman, no search warrant is
necessary for a search of a car if the agents have "prob-
able cause" to suspect that is contains evidence. "A car
can drive away before a search warrant can be obtained,"
the spokesman said. He said that he had confidence that
if an "incident" had indeed taken place, it was because
his agents had "probable cause" to suspect Doug, Howie,
Bob, Terry or Carol.
And about identifying oneself as an agent of the
Bureau, and holding students at gunpoint without even
saying why? All we have to do is show our badge, and
say 'federal officer"' the spokesman said.
Not even these dignities were observed. The students
got the impression that the search was entirely a case
of pot luck--they were students, with a flight bag from
Dallas.
The incident is over, and while the students had a
scare, they are now back safely in the womb of the big
university. Can we ignore the reality they glimpsed?
These sorts of incidents are daily occurrences for people
Who are all* their lives plagued by abridged freedom.
SOMEDAY WE MAY make a turn or even a small di-
version from the accepted path. Who is to deny then whe-
ther it will be only a car blocking our way?

A

EXPOSING THE 'U'

The ca
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the posi-
tion of the Coalition to Support AFSCME.
By JIM FORRESTER
LAST SATURDAY night hundreds of
grim, angry and determined people
met in the auditorium at Ann Arbor
Pioneer High School to express their dis-
satisfaction witht the way the University
has been treating them. They gave their
leadership the power to call a strike Thurs-
day night against the University if no
agreement coulld be reached as to how
they should be treated.-
Yet few of the people at the meeting
were students and even fewer would class-
ify themselves as radicals. Richard Nixon
might call them his silent. majority -
people working to support themselves and
their families.
But they are no longer silent. They are
demanding. respect and equality and are
putting the livelihood of themselves and
those they love on the line to back those
demands in a time when jobs and money
are so very tight.
"They" are the campus workers. The
janitors, food service, dorm and hospital
workers who are members of the Univer-
sity of Michigan Employees Union -
AFSCME Local 1583.
THE WORKERS' major concern is their
wages, which are far from adequate. The
hourly wage of a Union member is $2.69
an hour or about $5600 annually, while
the Department of Labor in 1969 estimated
the subsistence budget for a family of
four in Detroit to be $6543 a year. Infla-
tion has boosted this to $7131 annually, a
difference of $1531. Figures were unavail-
able for Ann Arbor, one of the nation's
highest priced communities.
One woman described her situation.
"With my wages I have to pay $150 a
month for a place in Ypsilanti. Then
there's the light bill, the fuel bill, and the
gas bill to pay besides.
"I go to rummage sales - I call them
garbage sales - to buy shoes," she con-
tinued, "and the only new clothes I've
bought for myself in the past year are
two pairs of slacks I needed for work.
"Because I'm supporting three grand-
children, I receive food stamps which help
me get by." Then she added, "But not all
of the workers are as lucky as I am."

for the AFSCME workers

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The financial squeeze has forced many
of the workers to hold down two jobs, or
has made both wife and husband in a
large number of families take jobs.
"My wife is a nurse, and working nights,"
said one central campus janitor, "I have
to work days and we don't get to see much
of each other."
In addition only 36 per cent, of the work-
ers are able to live in Ann Arbor while
the rest commute from out-lying com-
munities, some as far away as Detroit.
RACE AND SEX discrimination are also
sore points for University employes. One
source in Local 1583 challenged the Uni-
versity to find "more than 15 women in
the Union above pay grade five." (There
are 12 pay grades). He also said, that of the
600 to 700 Union members in the higher
pay grades, fewer than 40 were black.
Most startling is the pay differentials
among the Union's executive officers. The
two white officers arein pay grades seven
03.45 an hour) and nine ($3.95 an hour).
The two black men are in pay grades three
($2.60 an hour) and five ($2.95 an hour).
And the two women are both in pay grade
one ($2.20 an hour).
Another major problem is the time
consuming grievance procedure and the
constant harrassment of the workers' re-
presentatives, the shop stewards. Griev-
ances often take months to fight to a con-
clusion and if a discharged worker at-
tempts to use the procedure to " get his job
back he will often find the University will
simply wait until he is forced to get
another job.
One central campus steward furnishes an
example. For years he militantly fought for
his fellow workers' rights and when the
BAM strike came along he refused to cross
picket lines. As a result he was transferred
to a building where he would work alone-
separated from his co-workers.
One evening, while off work, he visited
his alternate steward and when he was
there a fire started in the building. The
University immediately fired both, claim-
ing their negligence started the fire. For a
time the two faced charges of criminal neg-
ligence.
Yet the University never presented any
evidence to substantiate its charges. The
two were fired without hearing, with no
opportunity to present their case except

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1970lE. The Register'
.nd Tribunte Syndicete

through a drawn out grievance procedure
which took months.
The alternate steward was eventually re-
hired. As she had no family to support she
could wait out the University. But the
steward was in a more difficult position.
With a family of 13 to help support he
could not wait and was forced to take
work elsewhere.
The University treats the workers col-
lectively in the same dishonest fashion. In
1968 AFSCME was fighting for the mere
right to bargain, the workers' right pro-
tected by law. But the University's ver-
sion of bargaining was to talk forever and
never sign anything.
AFSCME had no other choice but to
strike, a right denied to public employees
by state laws. Workers walked off their
jobs that fall despite the fact any of them
might have been jailed. And with the help
of students, who manned picket-lines and
discouraged scabs. AFSCME was able to

run dry, that the nasty State Legislature
is cutting its budget.
The State Legislature may be nasty, but
the University does have the money. Last
spring the University lamented its financ-
ial woes to BAM, but, after a 12 day strike
(which AFSCME supported), the one or
two million dollars necessary was some-
how found.
Some of the programs the University has
seen fit to continue during this "financial
squeeze" are the quarter-million dollar plus
ROTC unit ,a contribution of nearly one-
half million dollars to the City of Ann
Arbor for "police protection," and the
maintenance of two 18 hole golf courses at
a cost of over $100,000.
The money is clearly available and in
the words of Union President Charles Mc-
Cracken, "It is just a matter of how they
(the University) choose to slice up the
pie."
It is clear that University officials will

"We fially got the goods on those Berrigan brothers
look what they've been advocating!"
Letters: WorKing at Ulrich's

#A

To the Daily:
WE WORKED at Ulrich's and had very strong
feelings about the store. The following is a copy
of the letter we sent to Mr. Ulrich:
We worked in your store for book rush and
felt compelled to write you this letter. During
our orientation lecture it was emphasized that
Ulrich's was known as the "friendly bookstore."
Perhaps you should stop deluding yourself. We
found as employes and as customers at Ul-
rich's that this was far from true. At orienta-
tion we were asked to give suggestions as to
how operations could be improved. We feel
that any such improvement will be useless un-
til Ulrich's real image and attitudes have been
changed.
We were told that Ulrich's just would not
stand for its employes being mistreated by cus-
tomers. We were never mistreated by custo-
mers. But we did often find many people who
we worked with and under to be far from
pleasant and encouraging. For example one
superior complained when one of us did not
restock the aisle. To do so was practically an
impossibility not, having been shown or told
where the stock was. The next day after final-
ly having been shown the stock and thus trying
to keep the aisle well supplied, she was told
that she was now over-stocking by the person
who had previously complained.

?:Z..', 2 ei:;S- }{:}.""ii"47'}r: i4i a: ::: ;ii ::": :-}h}::"}'"ii:...
The hourly wage of a union member is $2.69 an hour
or about $5,600 annually. The Department of L a b o r in
1969 estimated the subsistenve budget for a family of four
in Detroit to be $6,543 a year. Inflation has boosted this to
$7,131 annually, a difference of $1,531 ...
MasmmssmmmMN#E~mmmamaemameaNM#Em!S Sm%25#5

erate fear. We were amazed when it was said
that one of the employes might possibly be a
detective, inferring that we better watch our
_ep. We were also insulted by signs around
the store such as those that said we would be
docked 50 cents from our pay if we left the
lights on and the one offering a $200 reward
for turning in fellow employes who acted in
some dishonest way,
Another scare tactic that we greatly resent-
ed was being told that those who worked only
during registration and not after classes had
.started would not be paid for the time they
had worked. It seems to us to be not only truly
unjust but most probably illegal. This brings
us to another problem. By law employes are
granted a 15 minute break for every four hours
/they work. At Ulrich's we were "generously"
given 8-10 minutes.
After a few days we found our duties to in-
clude something which was not only embarras-
sing for us but insulting to the customers. We
are referring to the task of handing out small
paper bags at the pen counter so people could
not walk off with the pens. ItIs degrading to a
customer who understands the real reason the
bag has been given to her (him).
Having found Ulrich's practices so distaste-
ful we will not patronize the store again and
we won't hesitate to tell our friends of our
feelings.
-Debbie Faigenbaum
-Katie Welch

force the University to recognize the work-
ers' right to bargain and sign a contract.
NOW THE WORKERS are struggling
for a new contract, but the University
is again refusing to bargain. Negotiations
began October 5 and in the weeks follow-
ing the Union presented over 40 proposals
on different parts of the contract. Not
until the week before Christmas, barely two
weeks before the contract was originally to
terminate, did the University present any-
thing of its own.

make no concession to AFSCME unless
massive pressure is brought against them
to do so. And the only real weapon the
workers have is to collectively withhold
their services - to strike.
Yet such a strike, even though it will
seriously cripple the University, may fail
if the rest of the community, particularly
students, does not support it.
THUS THE' COALITION To Support
AFSCME held its first meeting Sunday in

THE UNFRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE
furthered by the management's pitting
ployes against each other and trying to

was
em-
gen-

I

Tbj t £irhnu aitu

I

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