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May 16, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-05-16

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Summer Daily
Summ ter t itiooeof
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, May 16, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
jules feilie r
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Farah workers find no friend

in a republican John,
TOHN CONNALLY'S decision tof
J become a card-carrying se-
publican has quickly induced con-
jecture about what momentous role
he will be asked to perform in the
rehabilitation of the crisis-torn Nix- |
on regime. While he awaits an as-
signment worthy of his self-image,
there is a service to perform with-
in the borders of Texas. He could
undertake the mission of oringin
Willie Farah out of the ;tonc age
of industrial relations. But dont
wait up for that news.
Farah is the affluent head of the .
Texas-based Farah Manufactareg ..
Co., one of the nation's biggest '
makers of men's pants. He has
been engaged in a primitive cra-
sade to block a unionizaiion drive
by the Amalgamated Clothingl
Workers. Last Wednesday marked
the first anniversary of a strike
begun by more than 300" employes,
most of them young Mexican-Am-,
erican women, in a setting remin-.
iscent of union organizing battles
of the 1930s. John Connally
Recently I talked with twa of the
strikers - Rosa Flores, 19, whose out that many Farah workers had
attractive portrait adorns the un- come to their parish priests to re-
ion's nationally-circulated posters, port their grievances long berote
and Margaret Quesada, 34,,who are the Amalgamated began its cam-
here to help rally support for the paign. Noting Farah's claim that
spreading boycott of Farah. they have "over 8000 happy work-
They spoke of low wages, op- ers who will not strike," he wrote:
pressive speedup, insecurity, anti- "In their simplicity many do not
union harassment and the word know that their situation could be
that, above all, has beccme the improved, and the company is not
battle cry of the picket lines: "Dig- the one to inform them but is act-
5 . .
"Talking with (the Farah strikers) one had a,
dismal sense of how remote their national gov-
ernment seemed to them. These are the for-
gotten people of the Nixon era."

per, why is it so impossible for gi-
gantic Farah to do the same?" the
Bishop asked.
WILLIE FARAH'S response was
to call the Bishop a member of the
"rotten old bourgeois" who is
"lolling in wealth."
But many other voices have spok-
en out on the union's side. Like Ce-
sar Chavez' farm workers, these
Mexican-Americans have enlisted
the warm sympathy and supaort of
AFL-CIO president George Meany,
along with Sens. Ted Kennedy and
Gaylord Nelson, and numerous Con-
gressmen; even Nelson Rockefeller
and John Lindsay have found a
common cause in this conflict.
Amid declining revenues - no
dividends have been declared for
the last five quarters - and a
sharp drop in the company's stock
prices, Farah has vowed to carry
on his anti-union offensive. Time
and again the National Labor Re-
lations Board has upheld union
charges of discriminatory firings,
intimidations, surveillance and oth-
er ancient weapons of the open-
shop barons. But each decision has
merely invited a new round of le-
gal maneuvers. The board's lack of
enforcement powers has given Par-
ah's lawyers a field day, with no
end in sight.
IN FACT the strike was precipii-
tated by the anti-union firings that
began at almost the moment the
Amalgamated apeared on the
scene; the union finally faced the
choice of surrender or a walk-
It has been a long year now, and
William Farah appears outwardly
unyielding. The strikers who' I
met had no illusion of a sudJen
Talking with them one had a dis-
mal sense of how remote their na-
tional government seemed to them.
These are the forgotten neople of
the Nixon era. When I asked them
whether John Connally had gi-en
them any hint of sympathy, they
smiled, as if I were a victim of
total delusion,
And it is, I stipose, fantas.vt:
imagine that he would deem the
effort to achieve an honorable sit-
tlement of this strike a worthy ise
of his Texas time. In surFace
manner and bearing, Connally has
often been likened to Lyndon John-
son; but he is not a man graced
with any comparable instinot for
social justice. He will not ive
Willie Farah any trouble; the boy-
cott will,
James Wechsler is the editorial
director of the New York Post.
Copyright 1973 by the New York
Past Corporation.


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nidad." As Willy Farah has pain-
fully learned, it means dignity, and
it is their answer to his boast that
the paternalism of a free turkey at
Christmas and a medical clinic
make his plants a happy home.
IN A SENSE Farah is as much
an echo of the past as she ;ondi-
tions the strikers are pratesting.
The heaviest blow he suffered in
his home territory was an eloquent
affirmation of the strikers' cause
and an indictment of Farah's poli-
cies delivered by the Bishop of El
Paso, the Most Rev. Sidney M.
Metzger, in a communication ad-
dressed to Catholic bishops
throughout the country. He pointed

ually taking advantage of their
simplicity and keeps reminding
them that they never had it so
good. However, it should also be
noted that without job security and
with the high production demands,
workers live in fear of being ds-
missed and left without a job if
their output falls short of their pro-
duction quota." -
The unanswerable fact, he said,
is that the vast majority of Farah
workers earn about $61 a week in
take-home pay; emplaves in two
unionized local companies get $1112
a week under their Amalgamated
"If these smaller plants can live
with a union contract and pros-


60 THE
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tAt - T 1(6ou

On the psychological relationship
between money and. happiness

THE MAGAZINE Psychology To-
day reports that surveys made
in 19 countries show that people all
over the world have a strikingly
similar concept of happiness.
In Yugoslavia or Cuba, Africa and
Latin America, from Memphis to
St. Joe or wherever the four winds
blow, there are three fundamental
keys to being happy.
The two lesser influences a r e
family considerations and health.
Con you guess what the main key
You would never guess that in a
million years, so I will tell you.
The primary key is, of all things,
I know that is hard to believe,
but that's what the magazine says.
WHAT WE HAVE here then is
an apparent conflict between psy-
chology and philosophy. Philoso-
phers have been telling us for
years that money can't buy happi-

ness. Yet the surveys indicate
money is essential to achieve the
psychological state universally de-
fined as happiness.
Puzzled about this, I called up
my 89-year-old father, who h as
studied at the feet of Glenn Turn-
er, Billie Sol Estes and other con-
temporary philosophers.
"There's no contradiction," my
father said. "It's simply a ques-
tion of which came first - the
money or the happiness? "It is
still valid to affirm that money
can't buy happiness. But happiness
can procure money.
"The psychological traits asso-
ciated with happiness - a sunny
disposition, optimistic outlook and
so forth - also tend to promote
economic well-being. In other
words, a person may not be hap-
py because he has money, but he
may have money because he is
"Turning this around, it is gen-
erally assumed persons in pover-

ty areas are unhappy because they
are poor. Actually, however, they
may be poor because they are un-
I THANKED my father f o r
clearing this tip for me. And nit.
I finally understand what his seen
wrong with the U.S. foreign aid
program all these years.
We made the -istake of truyint
to help underdeveloped countries
prosper by giving them financial
assistance. Which explains wI a y
little progress was achis-7ed and
why some countries resent tmeri-
can aid.
Instead of sending them money,
we shoild have been sending them
smile buttons and "Have A ''lice
Day" bumper stickers.
Make people happy and ts'ic r.
ey will take care of itself
Dick West is a writer for United
Press International.

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