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February 26, 1977 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-02-26

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Saturda'y', February 26, 1977

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

s
Page Three

Saturday, February 26, 1977 THE MICHIGAN DAiLY

-.~ Three

Union

vs.,

niversity:

Windo w

on

a

walkout

From Michigan Stadium to the North Campus Com-
mons, the University this week went through a strange
and powerful division. People who work hard for their
living every day suddenly dropped it all to stand in the
sunshine of the year's first thraw and protest what they
think is an insult to their livelihood.
AFSCME Local 1583 had walked off the job.
There were fights with city police; there was
laughter and free coffee. There were cries of "scab!"
and there were good-hearted exchanges between strik-
ers and supervisors, who will forget the strife one day
soon and go back to the routine together, as always.
Strikers' blood runs fast. Through the week, there
were vows of determination to stay off the job, shouts
of jubilation when another truck turned away from the
picket line with cargo undelivered, hoots of derision
at security personnel and police.
The campus rang with these sorts of exclamations,
proclamations, and promises:
* "We stopped Fleming from serving food to the
Regents," said Mary Smith, a fiery picket captain at
the Law Quad. "We've blocked every truck that came
through here. We're going to unite together. We're go-
ing to do it. We're not worried-got a paycheck coming
Friday and we can always get food stamps and stuff
like that. We can last at least a month. The supervisors
aren't leaving the building tonight; they're afraid to
come out. I saw them with their suitcases."
0 A picketer at University Hospital, one of the
hardest hit facilities, mulled over the effects the strike
might have on students. "We want all the students in
the dorms to get cold meals and soggy toast," he said.
"Then the strike will be over with." Won't students ob-
ject if they have to hand over more tuition money to
pay for higher AFSCME wages? "Honey," he said, "if
you want to hear the music, you got to pay the fiddler.
With today's prices, you can't live on love."
* A woman who normally works as a housekeeper
at Baits housing on North Campus-now, suddenly, a
full-time picketer-was quietly angry with the people
who had strode through the lines to their jobs. "I think
they're going to reap what they sow," she said of the
"scabs." "The rest of us -are out here trying to get a
half-way decent contract and they're in there working.
I think that's hitting pretty far below the belt."

9 "People are mad, plain and simple," said Ken
Cavanaugh, an elderly picket at the hospital. "Over 80
per cent voted to turn down the contract. When that
many people say it stinks, it must be."
0 Jim Harvey, a North Campus maintenance man,
was predicting grim things for the AFSCME bargainers
who agreed to a tentative contract with the University
last week: "We've got a few negotiators who aren't go-
ing to be in power much longer. We've got elections
coming up, and (chief union bargainer) Art Anderson
is just about out of here. That turkey's gone. The vote
count on the contract proposal was solid and that's
the way the vote's going to be when Art Anderson runs
again. This union's together!"
O A strike inflames all the latent resentment of
employes against management, and u n i o n members
talked over and over of University "fat cats" and wasted
money in the administration. "I have a question," de-
clared a woman at University Hospital. "Where are they
getting all the money for Ford's library and the money
to maintain it?"
t Floyd Hilliard, a South Quad cafeteria worker,
put all the enthusiasm, all the rhetoric, all the hope
together: "We have the will and stamina to hold out
until we get a better wage.
"We feel great."

As

Photos by
Andy Freeberg,
Pauline Lubens,
& Dave Turnley

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