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July 11, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-07-11

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-"-I
THE
Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, July 11, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
Pie in the sky,
sex on -the wing
DURING THE PAST two weeks, the airline stewardess'
union has been protesting "sex-in-the-sky" adver-
tising which they claim is both degrading and misleading.
According to Kellv Rueck, the president of the Asso-
ciation of Flight Attendants, this alarming escalation in
alluring advertising could lead to "a spontaneous loss of
enthusiasm by airline stewardesses."
She also said the union, which represents flight at-
tendants from 20 U.S. airlines, "is ready to take all ap-
propriate actions, including law suits if necessary, to halt
the spread of these disgraceful and discriminatory cam-
paigns."
The airlines have long been known for their sexist
and discriminatory treatment of women. Stewardesses at
one time were prohibited from marrying, forced to retire
at an early age, and penalized when their weight slipped
above the maximum allowable for a Twiggy-style figure.
Not surprisingly, many airlines still cling tenacious-
ly to these repugnant regulations.
It appears with the latest barrage of sex appeal ad-
vertising, the stewardesses have come to the end of their
rope.
NATIONAL ADS FEATURING a stewardess saying "Fly
me" or "We'll really move our tail for you," are not
only degrading, but are in extremely poor taste. The air-
lines have even managed to surpass traditional sex ap-
peal advertising by aiming below the belt in these "crotch
appeal" slogans.
We wholeheartedly support the sentiments of the
flight attendants union and urge patrons of National and
Continental airlines, the prime offenders, to inform the
airlines' managemtnt that uncouth advertising does not
sell seats.
-CHERYL PILATE
- iXOJS niiraiSUMMT
xon -rwac> twar
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Up from under:
A political history
or,

By MITZI BURTON, DAN BYRNE,
and JAN COOPER
AST WEEK bath AFSCME and the UAW filed
petitions with MERC (Michigan Employment
Relations Commission) requesting that.they hold
an election to determine if University of Michi-
gan clerical workers wish to be represented by
a union. The following is a herstory of the CCFA
(Concerned Clericals for Action),
CCFA is an organization which evolved from
the CSFA (Concerned Secretaries for Action- Law
School.) CSFA was formed by a group of clericals
who had become angered by the working condi-
tions at the Law School and the unwillingness
of the U of M Personnel Office to act on their
grievances. Their man complaints were low
wages, evaluations being changed after they were
signed, and low merit increases as compared to
other units in the University.
CCFA started a series of weekly lunch hour
meetings where clericals from different units on
campus could meet each other and discuss corn
mOn problems we all face as University clerical
workers.
LOW WAGES was the complint most often
discussed and by inquiring we discovered that our
salaries are from $600.00 to $1500.00 per year
lower than those paid to clericals at any of the
comparable educational institutions in Michigan.
A letter was sent to the Budget and Priorities
Committee stating this complaint and Allan Smith
among others replied for the University' by say-
ing:
1. This is a free enterprise system and the Uni-
versity has no moral obligation to raise clerical
salaries.
2. The University provides a convenient place
fo- women to work while their husbands are in
school.
3. Competent secretaries are not hard to come
by.
4. The University would reply further in the
Spring of 1974 (this was in the Fall of 1973
and the University has not replied yet.) Need-
less to say, this answer did not satisfy our
question or our needs and the lunch meetings
went on.
AFTER MANY weeks of discussion and no ac-
tion and many suggestions (off the cuff of couse)
by University personnel officials and even a
member of the Budget and Priorities Commis-
sion that we unionize, we moved in that direc-
tion. We sought out people with experience with
unions, and invited Ron Egnor, a labor lawyer,
Vickie Niewberg who organized the clericals at
Michigan State, University, AFSCME representa-
tive Joe King, Nancy Pillsbury and another Team-
ster member, United Auto Workers representative
Hubert Emerick and a Communications Workers
of America representative to speak at our lunch
hour meetings.
At an open meeting the committee took a demo-
cratic vote and the majority of the members
agreed to ask the UAW to help us in our organiz-
ing drive. Most of us were torn between the UAW,
AFSCME and an independent union.
THE DISCUSSION about the independent union
centered on women helping ourselves but the big-
gest obstacle in that course was the tremendons
amount of money necessary for the organization
drive and our lack of skills in organizing. The
Teamsters were ruled out for their blatant Male
Chauvinism (the representative constantly called
us girls) and their pride in the fadt that they are
the major obstacle in the United Farm Workers
organizing drive. The Communications Workers of
America did not seem to be a very strong union
and although they have a very high ratio of
women members their executive officers are pre-
dominantly male.
We considered AFSCME a strong possibility be-
cause they represent the service wrkers eni
campus. After talking with those service work-
ers, however, our opinion of that union changed.
The service employees complained that AFSCME
did not very often follow up on grievances and
that although the dues were high the local had
very little money since their charter requires that
$45 a, month go to the International and. the
AFL-CIO. We were also somewhat surprised
to find that they have no defense fund and .no pro-

visions for strike relief. We considered this a
very weak bargining position.
THE REASONS ,for choosing the UAW were:
the UAW is known for bargaining far the wage
and benefit packages that set the style for all
other industries, they servie their :otracts and
grievances efficiently, the oportunities for wo-
men to advance to decision-making positions in
the UAW hierarchy are greater than most unions,
and their involvement in social/political causes
which affect the rights of working-class people
(such as their support of the United Farm.Work-
ers struggle in the Southwest.) We also found
that dues under the UAW would be less than
AFSCME, and yet leave more money at the local
level than AFSCME. UAW dues are 2 hours pay
per month of which 30 per cent goes to the
strike fund (which would be available to us),
30 per cent goes to the International and 3 per -
cent goes to the Walter and May Reuther Educa-
tional Fund (which we could also use). Thirty-
seven per cent (using $2.75 per hour as average
clerical pay) or $2.03 stays with the local union
(those who earn less pay less). AFSCME dues
on the other hand require a flat $4.50 per month,
no matter how much or how little you make. The
entire $4.50 goes to the International etc., and
in order to give. your local $2.00 per month their
dues would have to be $6.50 per month.
AFTER WE MADE our decison to affiliate
with the UAW the real work began. We set up
mass meetings, circulated cards, held recruit-
ment meetings and talked to as many clericals
as we could. We learned how to produce leaflets
and pamphlets. We continued learning about un-
ions by talking to members of unions asking them
the pros and cons of their union. We also walked
the picket line with the Argus workers when
they went out on strike to learn what strikes were
all about.
In the first week of July both AFSCME and
UAWfiled petitions with MERC to hold an elec-
tion to determine if the majority of U of M
clericals wish to be represented by a union. At
this point we still urge clericals 'o sign UAW
authorization cards. The unionization drive is still
on. On July 10 the UAW, MERC, AFSCME and
the University met to certify those authorization
cards which we have collected so far and deter-
mined what our bargaining unit will be. They also
agreed to hold an election on the following dates
at the following locations:
Sept. 16 - Study Center, Flint; Sept. 17 -
Class Office, Dearborn; Sept. 18 - North Campus
Commons; Sept. 19 - Hospital; Sept. 20 - Mich-
igan Union; Sept. 23 - Michigan League.
All U of M clericals (full and part-time) em-
ployed at all campuses and study centers as of
August 15, 1974, are eligible to vote. Those cleri-
cals unable to vote at the polling places above
will be allowed to vote by mail.
THE BIGGEST problem we face at this point
is convincing clericals that they are essential to
the University and as such deserve 2ompesation
for their services. Many U clericals are under the
misimression that relations with the University
would drastically change with unionization. -
Don't be too surprised if clerlcals receive a
sizeable raise in the next fiscal budget. But re-
member: to catch up to 1973 inflation we need
a 17 per cent increase; to, keep up with this
year's inflation at least another 10 per cent
increase. Even if the University gives us a
sizeable raise this year, in these times of double-
figure inflaton, we need protection and security
for the years to come. To get ahead and stay
ahead we need a union.
Although the CCFA definitely believes that the
UAW is a far superior union than AFSCME, we
also believe that a union is better than no union
at all. We ask clericals who are yet undecided
to investigate for yourselves what each union
has to offer. Find out what unions have done
for other workers. If you do this, whe the elec
tion is held the percentage of clericals who vote
for "no union" wil be very- small indeed.
MiLJ2 Burton, Dan Byrne, and Jan Cooper are
-smembers of the Concerned Clericals for Action.

"Many clericals are under the misimpression that relations with the
University would drastically change with unionization. This is only
true in that for once we would be seriously considered when the Uni-
versity makes.its budget decisions."

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