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September 18, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-09-18

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Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Vague rumblings of

a mass movement

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552


An untimely Nixon veto

IN RECENT weeks, President Nixon has
derided Congress for its inaction on
many crucial domestic issues. It is time,
as he would say, to get the "team" mov-
Yet, last week Nixon became the first
President ever. to veto a minimum wage
bill. In his veto message, he said the raise
would increase inflation and lead to high-
er unemployment, particularly among
those groups already suffering from a
high jobless rate.
The vetoed legislation included new
groups of workers, such as domestics and
state and local civil servants, never be-
fore covered by minimum wage stipula-
The basic minimum wage, had the bill
been signed, would have risen to $2 this
year and $2.20 next year.
NE OF the President's chief criticisms
of the legislature was its lack of a
provision for a subminimum wa'ge 'for
Nixon would like to see a continuation
of wage policies allowing the payment of
lower wages, to young persons. He claims
such a provision in the bill would reduce
teenage unemployment.
In fact, the practical effect of such a
provision is one which many of us have

experienced: working long hours for food
establishments and the like at pay rates
which are hardly enough to justify work-
ing at all.
Several labor leaders have attacked the
Nixon veto for just this reason. It is, after
all, hard to place as much stress-at least
verbally, as Nixon does-on the "work
ethic" when minimum wages keep one
below the official poverty level of $4,200
a year.
AFL-CIO President George Meany has
noted that,, while food prices have
risen 38 per cent since the last minimum
wage hike, "the President branded a 25
per cent increase in the minimum wage
as "too much."
.The union leader, moreover, has figures
which cast serious doubt on Nixon's con-
tention that unemployment and inflation
would increase as a result of a rise in the
minimum wage.
Almost every previous increase in the
minimum has been accompanied by a
sharp .increase in employment, and
Meany's statistic$ showed that when the
wage increase has been the sharpest "in-
flation was the most modest."
The Presidential veto may be overrid-
den when the bill comes before the House
again tonlorrow. Such an action would be
completely justified.

EVEN AS THEY sit, safe and secluded in
their perch high atop the Administra-
tion Building, the University's leaders can
probably sense what SGC President Lee
Gill has described as "the rumblings of
something that might be big."
Those rumblings are coming from the
direction of the developing tuition strike-
the first sign of student activism this sleepy
campus has seen in nearly four years.
The rumblings are certainly nothing like
the violent tremors and upheavals t h a t
threatened to topple the whole building in
the late 60s, but the ingredients for growth
are there.
For one, in the tuition protest, students
finally have an issue that can serve as
a rallying point. It is an issue that cuts
across racial and political lines and is
unique in that it ffects all but those on
complete financial aid.
FURTHER, THE strategy strike leaders
have adopted - namely the withholding. of
the first tuition payment - carries with it
a maximum penalty of a five dollar late
fee - hardly a revolutionary sacrifice.
The presence of a natural student leader
at the forefront of the struggle also repre-
sents a sharp break with the recent past.
Though he is a black militant on a campus
dominated by passive whites, Gill has al-
ready demonstrated his ability to capture
the students' imagination.
His opening night address in which he
first announced the strike to a group of in-
coming freshmen was interrupted by bursts
of vigorous applause. Academic Affairs Vice
UFW sti
.OPIN. TO visit and work with setting.
the farmworkers and to learn TO S'
about their strike in California, I underst
spent a week in Lamont in mid- only att
August with the United F a r m ings in
Workers. free flo
* - numero
My time was spent on the picke the aud
lines, attending the mass meetings, .tead
and working with the UFW legal After
staff doing a phone survey to help strikebr
get a change of venue (location) arrests
for the numerous trials of farm- tains, .
workers. As such, the information eight t
below should be seen as impression- of ther
istic. who ha
tions w
At present, the UFW seems to the tab]
be in a precarious o t did, in
certainly not one of despair. The support
Teamsters have attempted to de- whicht
feat the UFW through both the f olde
violence of their goons and their one-hal
sweetheart contracts with the grow-
ers. Combined with their relations It ist
with the Nixon gang it seems that high le
they have a good deal of strength to be t
in the short term. strike
Further, those growers who sign grapes
with the UFW will have problems remain
getting their produce to market. who ha
This is one of the early signals of contrac
the Teamster effort to monopolize cngacy
the fresh food sector of the Amer- legallyh
ican economy by holding the union brought
leadership in the packing, canning, work n
delivery, and hopefully picking as- sremp
pects. nothing
HOWEVER, the' Teamsters' NW
strength is less than it might at NOW
first seem. It has tread too heav- run out
ily for its fellow big-time union havet
bosses, thus bringing itself into jbS', b
temporary opposition to the AFL- will co'
CIO which has given the UFW $1.4 the grc
million in strike funds and several There
good organizers for the strike. the mo
Only, of course, in coordination to acco
with pressure to force the UFW ber of
t maksconcesiosin the nego- with th
tiations number
Significant rank and file Team- signing
ster support for the UFW is evi- ' othersh
denced not only by rank and file having
demonstrations in California for the because
UFW, but also by the suit-presently hiring

being brought by three Teamsters The hi
against the Teamster leadership for by theI
misuse of funds used in the at- contrac
tempt to break the UFW strike. Undert
The Teamsters' racism is evi- were hi
dent in their statement that demo- the lab
cracy cannot be introduced into the workers
farmworkers union until the job preferen
has been "upgraded" and attract- the hiri
ed more white workers because the ers hir
Mexican workers "don't understand hiring h

President Allan Smith, his mouth gaping,
could ony look on with amazement.
With a bundle of charisma and a veteran
politician's sense of timing, Gill can be sure
that when he speaks, people will listen.
Even the men on the sixth floor.
THERE ARE of course formidable ob-
stacles lying in the path ready to trip up
the nascent student movement.
On a purely tactical level, the control

"To challenge a powerful opponent like the University stu-
dents must regain the kind of confidence in their own strength
that their counterparts in the late 60s came to possess."

the kind of confidence in their own strength
that their counterparts in the late 60s
came to possess.
The group psychology that allowed stu-
dents to feel they would win - with im-
munity from punishment - is an essential
prerequisite for any mass movement. The
resignation of Lyndon Johnson and t h e
change in the nation's war policy served as
proof to students of that earlier era that
such confidence was justified.

Any attempt to organize the
such lines will likely alienate
of students.

pate in a wholesale attempt to destroy the

RATHER THE movement could a n d
sho~ild be built on the more fundamental
concept of student power.
In its own secretive fashion, the Univer-
sity has dropped a surprise tuition bomb-
shell on its students. At the same time
it has formed a residency committee that
arrogantly refuses to explain its decisions.
The sentiment 'that students are being
abused by the University has been echoed
by many at the meetings and discussions
organized in the last two weeks.
It is around this kind of sentiment that
the new student movement can be organiz
ed. Demands for a student Regent and a
generally greater role in University af-
fairs and information are among the kinds
of goals that students can work, towards.
THE TUITION strike is hopefully the first
in a series of causes that will unite students
in an effort to gain a more responsive Uni-
That kind of unity is, of course, the very
thing that sends shivers up the collective
spine pf the men in the Administration's
-enthouse. And one can safety assume,
that they will do everything in their power
to stop it from developing.
After all,' they remember the days when
the penthouse was almost destroyed.
Charles Stein is city editor of The Daily.

strike along
large blocs


parents exercise over tuition payments
could significantly cut down the number of
strike participants.
While they are undoubtedly disgusted by
the burdens imposed by the massive tuition
hike, few parents are likely to show much
sympathy for civil disobedience tactics di-
rected towards the University.
On a much broader and perhaps more
critical level, the strike must overcome the
barriers imposed by the campus history
of the last three years.
TO CHALLENGE a powerful opponent
like the University, students must regain

In retrospect we can also see that the
Movement produced the' large-scale para-
noia in the Nixon Administration that found
its expression in tl4e Watergate affair.
AS MIGHT BE expected, the old timers
who took part in those major sprotests have
been drawn like a magnet to the tuition
strike. They attend strike <-meetipgs with
visions of past glory in their eyes and Marx-
ist analyses on their tongues.
Yet those who see the present movement
as a repeat performance of the 60s are
engaging in a bit of wishful thinking. To-
day's student is simply not about to partici-




The planning shortage

Shortage. datory all
The word stares out from well - nigh ed.
every front page these days. There is the "In the
soybean shortage; the rice shortage; the policy, dis
energy shortage. certain re
And now it appears that last year's moderately
mock oil shortage may turn into this A nation
year's disaster. At least, that's the opinion sult from
of a Congressional study issued Saturday: economicc
Even under the best of weather and sup- paralleled
ply conditions, localized fuel shortages At thisl
can be expected this winter unless a man- federal go
the fuel w
But the
tion of th
Editorial Staff ture ofc
Co-Editors in Chief of measure
ROBERT BARKIN.................... Fature tEditor
DIANE LEVICK .......................... Arts Editor most of wl
MARTIN PORTER....................Sunday Editor fect in the
MARILYN RILEY......... Associate Managing Editor It seems
ZACHARY SCHILLER .............. Editorial Director
ERIC SCHOCH....... ............. Editorial Director these prop
TONY SCHWARTZ.................... Sunday Editor' to thinkc
CHARLES STEIN............ ............City Editor ghettoes h;
TED 'STEIN .... Executive Editor fore. theya
ROLFE TESSEM....................Managing Editor'
cars must
TODAY'S STAFF: traffic an
ternative t
News: Ted Evanoff, Chris Parks, Cheryl cussed.
Pilate, Sue Stephenson, Rolfe Tessem It is imp
Editorial Page: Ted Hartzell, Zachary tions to an
Schiller, Charles Wilbur are sudden
itself. Thu
Arts Page: Diane Levick in advanc
Photo Technician: David Margolick we be able
. -\
- ~~'7

ocation program is implement-
absence of effective federal
astrous shortages could strike
gions" if the winter is only
y cold, the report said.
pwide fuel shortage could re-
severe weather, causing "an
crisis for the United States un-
since the Great Depression."
point, there is little more the
vernment can do than allocate
rhich is available, as the Con-
study suggests.
whole crisis is a good illustra-
e careless and unplanned na-
our decision-making process.
Nixon has-proposed a number
es to remedy the fuel shortage,
hich will have little or no ef-
months or even years to come.
s that only when a, crisis of'
portions strikes, can we, begin
of ways to combat it. Urban
ave to explode with riots be-
are considered to be problems;
choke the expressways with
d the air with smog before al-
transportation systems are dis-
possible to reach equitable solu-
ny of these problems when we
ly confronted with the crisis
s, only when we begin to plan
e on all of these questions, will
to find suitable answers.

operate in a democratic
EE IF these people "don't
and' democracy, one need
end one of their mass meet-
which there is open and
)w of conversation from the
us persons on the table to
ience and back.
the sheriffs shifted their
eaking tactics from mass
to arrests of picket cap--
who were arrested six or
imes in five days, each
picket captains and others
d had to direct confronta-
ith the cops were called to
e to speak. And speak they
ways which aroused the
of most everyone there,
ncludedra large proportion
;r workers and was about
f women.
this very democracy a n d
vel of morale which seems
he main strengths of th e
at present. Although t hie
has caused nearly half'.the
to rot on- the vines (the
der being picked by those
ve accepted the Teamster
t, by scabs brought in il-
from Mexico, or by persons
to the fields and put to
ot knowing that they were
reaking), itwas continuous-
hhasized that the strike is
without the boycott.
THAT the strike funds have
many of the strikers will
to return to work in other
but thetboycott must and
>ntinue to put pressure on
are certain weaknesses in
iement. One of them seems
unt in part for why asnum-
farmworkers have signed
e Teamsters. Although large
s of farmworkers have been
and/or blackmailed into
with the Teamsters and,
have joined out of fear of
no job, some have joined
they don't like the UFW
iring halls were established
UFW to replace the labor
tor (boss) system of hiring.
the latter system, people
red by the growers through
or contractor who hired
on the basis of personal
=ce, including kickbacks. In
ng hall, however, the grow-
e the workers through the
hall which assigns the jobs

View from the






according to seniority, not favor-
ing hall stems from several fac-
tors. First, there are three types
of seniority according to which as-
signments are given outin the hir-
ing hall: UFW seniority, senior-
ity for the corporation for which
one is picking, and seniority on a
particular farm. Problems arise
since there is no clear priority
among these three seniorities.
A second problem is that the ad-
ministrators, being human, tend
to Jlose their tempers and some
become authoritarian, all of which
leads to personality problems.

(II ) / I
. i 7,,



Letters to The Daily
et le S 1 1 8LI.W

A third is the contradiction be-
tween those who need jobs to pay
their dues and the fact that the
union, which needs the dues to
keep alive, requires that the dues
be paid before assignments a r e
given out.
ONE PROBLEM of the hiring
hall which won't disappear so fast,
however, is that the growers, dis-
liking the union and the hiring hall,
and knowing exactly how it works,
do everything they can to screw it
up. They change the number of
people requested . and the times
and places workers have been re-
quested for, after people have been
dispatched, causing loss of income
to the pickers and hostility to be.
directed incorrectly at the hiring
Another problem seems to be the
UFW's strong reliance of Cesar
Chavez himself. When he is not
around, very few important decis-
ions are made.
A third problem concerns or-
ganizing and maintaining discipline
on the lines. As the strike moved
north both seemed to decline.
FINALLY, the UFW is faced with
a problem in that the boycott is
aimed at hurting the profits of the
growers. Many in the UFW feel
that the growers, living high off the
profits of the prior three-year con-
tract, can absorb this year's loss
without giving in, but by the se-
cond and third years of the boy-
cott they will begin to feel it and
be ready to negotiate more ser-
iously. The reasoning seems to
have been successful in the past
and holds forth as a good possibil-
ity in the future.
One must keep in mind, however,
that the agri-business of California

THERE IS some question as to
what the ultimate goals of the
strike and the union are. It clear-
lv seems like more than a strike
for wages, for it includes a defin-
ite element of demanding dignity,
self-respect, and workers control
over the workplace.
While there was no ideological
discussion of strategy or of who
we are fighting, there isno place
that I have ever been where it is
clearer to the participants, or even
to an observer, who is the enemy
and why. The cops with their backs
to the field and their clubs fac-
ing the farmworkers and the grow-
ers whose scabs open fire on UFW
lines make it very clear as to who
is doing what to whom.
Some in the union see the strike
as a short-term economic and cul-
tilral battle and some recognize
that the goals of the movement
cannot be achieved within the cap-
italist system.
BUT AS THE strike goes on and
the farmworkers, every day, find
themselves face to f ace with a
united front ofacops, courts, grow-
ers, and teamsters, all against
them, more and more people see
the "democracy" of the capitalist
U.S. revealed more plainly in daily
life for the farce and hypocritical
oppressive society which it is. One
should be wary of criticizing the
ideology or lack of it too strong-
lv, before one has seen the mutual
development of the struggle and
the theory.
In sm, the UFW is in a strug-
gle which can be won and which
can educate people as to, the
limits of "freedom" in a capitalist
society. It is not a movement with-
o1t its faults, many' of which it is



To The Daily:
. RECENTLY the "knee-jerk" lib-
erals on campus havecome to crit-
icize the coup which occurred in
Chile. These left-wingers have crit-
icized this military coup as an op-
pression of the Chilean people al-
though Chile's two largest political
parties have come to the defense
of the junta.
The military, which has b e e n
traditionally neutral in politics,
overthrew Allende because of his
inability to keep Chile on a stable
path. Allende, in his fervor to
bring socialism to Chile, threw the
Chilean economy into rampant in-
flation. Allende, out of either stup-
idity or blind nationalism, tossed
foreign industries (especially t h e
cnmer inditrvi out of Chile in-

Allende made the tragic mistake the rodeo had been sanctioned by
of offering the Chilean people only the American Humane Association.
two alternatives - socialism or Unfortunately, such a sanction is
stability. Recent events have de- no guarantee that the animals will
monstrated that the people of Cile not be brutally treated. I have seen
preferred stability. rodeos in the Southwest that were
also "sanctioned" by the Ameri-
It has now become fashiomable can Humane Association where the
on the part of The Daily, S.G.C., practices mentioned in the Way's
and the rest of the campus radicals letter were much in evidence. It
to blame the coup on the United just isn't enough to blandly assume
States government. Unless these that all is A-O.K. because the AHA
groups have documented proof of puts its stamp of approval on such
this fact, they should apologize to an event and I am surprised that
the University student body for The Daily didn't dig a little deeper
insulting our intelligence with such
crap. Why don't tae campus ra:i- i yisubject.
cals protest such important issues If you had dugs'a little deeper,
as the Russian wheat deel and you would have discovered that no
Phase IV price controls? national humane society approves
rodeo. The policing of a rodeo by
-David A. Lambert, '76 humane agents means no less suf-
Sept. 15 fering for the animals involved.
C'r nnnn'ha c.-

...--..-. -"

19 as \Ll PNIUM a / /

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