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June 19, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-06-19

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

THE
Sumer Daily
Saimmsr Editionof
Jill MIChI(GAN DAIlY
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Tuesday, June 19, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
Problems plague
pos-,tal syqstemlI
ANYONE WHO sends or receives mail, (namely all of
us), knows that the speed of mail delivery can be
very slow. We speak from first-hand observation-hav-
ing received Monday morning an Air-Mail item mailed
the previous Thursday. And a recent Associated Press
study shows that one of every six letters is delayed for
days before delivery.
Yet, despite this disgracefully poor service, Post-
master General Elmer Klassen stated in a recent inter-
view that he intends to seek a two-cent hike in first
class rates-from eight cents an ounce to ten cents.
SUCH AN increase is not only unjustified, but unde-
served as well. When first class last went up, from
seven to eight cents, we were given assurances that the
price boost would help improve postal service.
We're not even being given any hope with this latest
proposed price increase-Klassen seeks the increase only
to meet rising labor costs.
And Klassen admits that private postal services, such
as United Parcel, are doing substantially better business
handling such items as parcel post.
It seems fairly obvious to us that the reason the U.S.
Postal Service is short of revenue is not because stamps
are underpriced, but because of gross inefficiencies in the
way they operate their business.
The public should not have to reward such shoddy
service with extra revenue. Let us see improvements in
our mail service before seeing any more increases in our
mail service.
CONGRESS WILL soon deliberate on this matter, which
will go into effect in January if passed. We urge Con-
gress to reject this proposed increase, and we urge our
readers to write--no, make that wire--their representa-
tives to express their disapproval of any postal increases.

Lettuce, grape boycotters aim to
strengthen United Farm Workers

By TOM O'BRIEN
1'A RMWORKERS IN the Coach-
ella Valley of California have
been on strike since April 16 when
grape grower signed "sweetheart"
contracts with the Teamsters Un-
ion, ignoring Cesar Chavez' Unit-
ed Farm Workers Union {UFW)
and the wishes of the workers.
In April, 32 contracts between
Coachella Valley growers and the
UFW expired. T h e s e were
contracts which were won
three years ago by the orig-
inal grape strike. 30 growers im-
mediately signed - new contracts
with the Teamsters despite the fact
that a poll conducted on April 10
by religions, civic and labor lead-
ers showed that the workers pre-
ferred the UFW to the Teamsters
by i0 to 1 margin.
The grape growers were follow-
ing the lead of lettuce growers who
three years ago signed contracts
with the "more business-like"
Teamsters to avoid dealing with
Chavez and the UFW. Teamster
officials have petitions with over
4,000 workers' signatures as evi-
dence that they are the choice of
the grape workers. However, there
are only about 2,500 workers in the
Coachella Valley and handwriting
experts have testified that many of
the signatures are in the same
handwriting. Included on the pe-
tition are "signatures" of several
Arab farmworkers who have been
in Detroit organizing for the UFW
the pastseveral months. Legal ac-
tion has been initiated against the
Teamster - grower partnerships
but because court settlement takes
a long time another grape boycott
is necessary.
THE COACHELLA Valley grows
about 30 per cent of California's
grapes, while most of the rest of
the crop is grown in the Delano
area. Since the Coachella Valley
is farther south its crop is har-
vested earlier and the contracts ex-
pired earlier. Delano's g r a p e
harvest and contract expiration is
in July. Because of these circum-
Tot O'Brien is a guesti riter
for The Daily.-

Cesar Chavez
stances the boycott support which
can be ralleyed in the next nonth
will be crucial to the Delano con-
tracts and the very existence of the
JJFW. If a strong grape boycott is
launched the Delano growers will
be virtually forced to sign with the
UFW, however if support isn't
shown the growers will feel free
to sign with the Teamsters. This
would virtually put the UFW back
to where it was five years ago with
almost no workers under contract
and no financial base.
Obviously there must be differ-
ences between UFW and Teamster
representation since the workers
strongly favor the UFW while the
growerstundergotagreat deal of
trouble to have their workers un-
der the Teamsters. The difference
is a measure of dignity for farm-
workers under the UFW.
The UFW hasreplaced the labor
contractor system with the hiring
hall, which means the union decid-
es who works instead of the grow-
ers. Under a UFW contract, work-
ers can earn seniority and older
workers can no longer be discard-
ed when they pass their prime.
Racial, sexual, and political dis-
crimination is likewise prohibited.
The hiring hall means workers are
chosen by a fair system rather
than by the whim or prejudice of
the growers.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT feature
of the UFW contract is pesticide
protection. The UFW demands to
know when, how much and what
kinds of pesticides are applied to
crops and the contracts require
strict control over these poisons.
Union control provides the only real
protection for consumers, since the
ssorkers have the greatest interest
in controlling pesticides.
The UFW is committed to grass
roots contract enforcement. Work-
ers on each ranch elect a com-
mittee of workers called "a ranch
committee" whose job it is to see
that grievances are corrected and
pesticides are closely controlled.
The ranch committees are also
the basic unit of the UFW. It de-
cides on contract demands, vote in
union affairs, and decides on un-
ion dues. This set-up allows t he
workers tothave real, concrete con-
trol over the decisions that affect
their lives.
Locally, volunteers are -b e i n g
recruited to picket A&P supermar-
kets in order to force them to sell
only UFW grapes and lettuce. A&P
supermarkets are picketed because
A&P is the largest food chain in the
East and Midwest and the largest
buyer of non UFW lettuce and
grapes. Richard Chavez (Cesar's
brother) who has been in Detroit
for the past month coordinating the
Michigan area boycott, has e x -
plained, "A&P is the key to the
lettuce and grape boycotts. We
have already spoken so a number
of the smaller chains in the area
who have agreed to fall in line
behind A&P, when A&P agrees to
sell only UFW lettuce andtgrapes.
This pattern has held in the past
and in other sections of the cotn-
try."
THERE ARE picket lines on
Thursday and Friday from 2 - 6
p.m. at the Huron and Division
A&P and on Saturday from 11 - 5
at Huron and Division and the S.
Industrial and Stadium A&P. For
more information call or stop by
the Boycott Office at 114 Legal Re-
search Bldg. 763 -01285 or call 761-
6947.

Sorry, Babe: Aaron's taking over

By GORDON ATCHESON
W/AITING FOR Hammerin' Henry Aaron
to break Babe Ruth's all time home run
record has been a trying experience for
sports fans.
We cheer every four bagger Aaron hits
and check rff one more step in his quest
for that masgic record, while bemoaning
the days when Henry forgets to munch his
Wheaties.
Behind the fascination with the home
run derby between Aaron and the legend
of yesterday's greatest ball player lies the
need to have real, tangible heroes and not
one shrouded by myth and some yellowing
pages in a record book.
To many of us the Sultan of Swat is mere-
ly a mythical giant not unlike Cyclops. A
name, a bunch of tales, but no direct link
to reality. His exploits captivated a prev-
ious generation, but now there can't be
the same vicarious, Mittyesque thrill about
a bygone era's hero.
BUT HANK'S feats are unfolding before
our eyes, entwined with our day to day lives.
He apears on the game of the week. The
box scores in the morning newspaper list
his name. He occasionally chats with Ho-
ward Cosell and millions of other sports
addicts via the tube.
Ruth despite all his greatness can't do
that.
Still for some unexplained, and undoubtel-
ly frivolous, reason the baseball hierarchy
has tried to preserve the records and the
heros of the past long beyond their natural
deaths.'
Witness poor Roger Maris. He out clout-
ed Ruth's ghost over 4 decade ago by
blasting 61 round trippers in one season.
For his effort he got an asterik noting he
AP Photo played a season eight games longer than
Ruth's.
Maris's achievement doesn't deserve to be
cheapened by the baseball bureaucrats who

want to perpetuate Ruth's nearly devine or
at least super-human inrage.
RUTH WAS a man and like other mortals
his accomplishments must be superceded by
some one else. Today that someone hap-
pens to be Aaron.
The barflys will argue that Aaron took
more at bats to get his homers if Ruth
hadn't been a pitcher for awhile he would
have clobbered more home runs thanany-
one else ever could.
Let the barflys argue.
BUT WHEN AARON finally tops Ruth's
"unbreakable record" grant him the credit
he deserves. Give us a hero who is flesh
and blood and don't dare tarnish his image
with asteriks.
Babe, the best of the Bronx Bombers,
probably knew his records could not stand
forever. After all to set those records he
had to break the marks left by the previous
generation's hero.
Ruth's era - the depression, the rising
tide of Nazism, FDR - has faded away.
The events, the people, the struggles are
just pages in a history book and perhaps
so it should be with the Bambino.
The mighty legend ought to be placed in
semi-retirement, as Aaron assumes the
role for this generation. Because he is part
of-the generation along with space rockets,
the Vietnam War, and even Watergate.
Esentually, however, just as Ruth's re-
cord must fall, the mark Aaron leaves be-
hind will topple. Still neither the men nor
their triumphs can become less awesome
with time's passing. They will always be re-
membered as among the finest to play the
game.
The fans will pay the two their due.
BUT EVERY era needs its own hero and
for the moment Henry Aaron is ours.
Gordon Atcheson, a diehard Henry
Aaron fan, is a sJaff serier for The Daily,

Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth

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