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June 09, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-06-09

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Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan

Chavez: Still reaping
rhe HavstoSame

Editorials printed in The Mi
opinions of the author. T
FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 1972

higan Daily express the individu
Os must be noted in all reprints.
News Phone: 764-


It's so easy .. .


'ESAR CHAVEZ, leader of the
AFL-CIO United Farm Work-
ers Union (UFWU ', has been sttc-
cessfUlly organizing migrant work-
rs for years tirogh non-violent,
means. And what has non-violence
done for his union? It's made hi m
a national celebrity but too often
the media focus on Chavez and
not on his cause.
Last month Chavez had to near
ly kill himself with a 24-day fast
to dramatize the need for union-
ization of lettuce workers in Ari-
zona. More specifically he w a s
protesting a bill passed by the Ari-
zona Legislature which becomes
law in August. The bill limits
strikes during harvest time and
bans secondary boycotts - t w o
tactics that have been invaluable
to the UFWU in the past. A na-
tional grape boycott for instance,
helped in the fight to get union
recognition from 90 per cent of
California grape growers.
But the going has been rough.
Chavez has faced 1930's vintage
anti-union sentiment from every
angle. With his non-violent stance,
he has pushed his point across to
vineyard owners and lettuce farm
owners - and they've tried legal
and extra-legal means to destroy
his union.
Vigilantes have molested union
picketers. Farm owners have im-
ported scabs. And even the Na-
tional Labor Relations Board
(NLRB). which has excluded agri-
cultural workers since its incep-
tion, tried earlier this year to
bring the UFWU under its wing.

CY? Ift 'he UFWU were
br'ight under the provisions of
the National Labor Relations, th
would automatically prohibit se-
condary boycotts -- but the UFWU
would receive none of the protec-
tive benefits ol the act. If boy-
cotts were stsd in opposition
to the law. ty ould be subect
to damage sis.
Interestingly enough, the Ai it
issue of New Republic mentio'n-d
tfat the NRLB's reversal on the
farm workers' question was ini-
tiated by general counsel P e t r
Nash, a President Nixon appointe -
The article says that Nash may
very well have been pressured in-
to the move by, among others,
GOP contributors.
Fortunately, however, the NRLB
retreated after UFWU sent thus-
ands of letters to GOP national
chairman Sen. Robert Dole of
Kansas and President Nixon. In-
teresting, indeed . - -
IT'S NOT just Chavezs union
that's been threatened, though.
Federal agents warned tne union
of an assassination plot on Cha -
vez' life in January. A police in-
former said he was offured money
by a group of wealthy farnmers to
take part. Yet the government
quickly closed the case, declaring
insufficient evidence. Curituser
and Curiouser - - -
Still, Chavez goes Yon, non-vio-
lently, trying to give some dignity
to the lives of migrant farm work-
ers. The issues are usually decent
wages, sanitary facilities, job se-

curity, and Safety conditions where
pesticides are used.
Chavez' UFWU won 'wo -union
contracts in Florida, in )ddition to
the California grape grwers. One
of the Florida contrants ccvers
1 t00 workers at the Minute Maid
division of Coca Cola Foods. It
may not seem to be much, but it
does prove one inportant point:
The UFWU can appeal no, only to
Chicanos (Chavez himscf is Mexi-
can-American', but to blaeks as
Released fromt the hospital Wed-
nesday, Chavez is recoverind -from
his fast before resuming the bat-
tle with Arizona's lettuce grow-
ers. His union has alreody begun
a petition campaign to recall Ari-
zona Gov. Jack Williams. If 10:,-
000 signatures are obtained, ano-
ther gubernatorial election can be
called, putting Williams in a rath-
er unpleasant situation. The union
hopes this drive will pit them in
a better bargaining posttion.
MEANWHILE, those of us far
removed from the lettuce fields of
Arizona can make one sacrifice for
the union.
The UFWU called a national let-
tuce boycott about seven weeks
ago to pressure lettuce growers in-
to allowing elections to determine
We can give up our dinner salad
to perhaps make some headway
against a national disgrace which
hasn't changed much since Ed-
ward R. Murrow portraye- 't on -
his documentary "Harvest of
Shame" years ago.

2..- . 3?'
Shirley, how could you?
SHE COULD have been kidding of course, but there was
Shirley Chisholm yesterday, joining Hubert Humphrey
on the "Wallace for vice president maybe" bandwagon.
The New York congresswoman said she "could not work
with Gov. Wallace because of his stand on education, but
if the governor moderated his stand maybe he might be
acceptable" as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
They still differ sharply on "states' rights," she said.
Chisholm told reporters after her pleasant 15 minute
chat with Wallace that she didn't want to make a "snap
judgment" on whether Wallace's views on education and
race have changed for the better during the campaign.
Who ever said HEW hopeful Shirley Chisholm wasn't a
UNLIKE SOME of the scrambling Democrats, Wallace
hasn't doubletalked away his 'respectable' record
and 'populist' past. He hasn't retracted a thing.
First there was "segregation now, segregation forever."
And regardless of "states' rights" interpretations, it was
Wallace who guarded school doors in Birmingham and
Montgomery for years-even before federal intervention
and the advent of "forced busing."
And his enlightened approach to foreign policy, ex-
pressed in his 1968 presidential campaign with Curtis
'Bomb 'em back to the Stone Age' LeMay, was to bomb
Hanoi back to the Stone Age.
THE GOVERNOR must really be eating it up. Apparently
the Wallace question is a dilemma for both "pointy-
heads" and the "unbought and unbossed." Lots of
Americans are for Wallace, so not only his views, but
Wallace himself, merit consideration--according to this
contorted version of the democratic ethic.
A lot of people are racist bigots too.
"He's a nut all right, but, maybe he's
what Germany needs-somebody to
really shake up the politicians!"

Letters to The Daily

School eleictionl
To The Daily:
LAST YEAR The Daily en-
dorsed me for school board. I
don't mean to be immodest but
your decision was right. I spend
most of my conscious waking
time thinking of (and work-
ing ot) ways to make schools
humanely fulfill and challenge
the interests, pleasures and com-
petencies of all students.
I would like to indicate why I
am urging people to vote for the
Citizens to Assure a Responsive
Educational System (CARES)
candidates, Bishop Brussolo and
Johnson in the June 12 election,
and not for Holt and Wilson, the
exceptionally fine youth-oriented
Human Right Party candidates.
This is a critical school board
election. Its main issue is whe-
ther or not there will be social
justice in our schools. Right now,
the five to four conservative ma-
jority votes a resounding NO.
Candidates Martin, Wickliff,

Dukes and Warner 'who is up for
re-election) are all opposed to
atny measures, however education-
ally appealing, that would guar-
antee that all new school dis-
tricts will be open to all groups
of students, not only the homo-
geneous population living nearby.
CARES wanted from its outset
to represent the entire spectrum
center to left, to give people a
clearcut choice of three humani-
tarian, student - centered candi-
dates. For a while -- with some
IHP cooperation - we were un-
der the impression that CARES
might endorse and help elect an
HRP candidate, without interfer-
ing with his or her party affilia-
tion. But then, after a successful
City Council election, HRP de-
cided to run three candidates,
thus splitting the socially respon-
sive vote.
It is imperative that we replace
the five to four conservative ma-
jority with a five to four progres-
sive one and the only way to
accomplish this is to pinpoint the
three candidates who must be

elected and to work to assure they
get in.
I have chosen to back the
CARES candidates partly because
I am a founder of CARES and
we selected from among those
people who came before us, part-
ly because I recognize they are
proven vote-getters and feel that
we mustn't split the vote, but
mlainly because they are indeed
enormously capable, highly sen-
sitive people (nowhere near as
middle-of-the-roadish as HRP
literature suggests.)
Let tie just emphasize that our
ive to four conservative school
board has passed some fairly ra-
dical educational programs this
years; they are approving our pro-
posal to eliminate sex descrimina-
tion in the schools; but they re-
fuse to commit themselves to an
integrated school system - and
that is why I am urging people
to vote for Bishop, Brussolo aAd *
-Marcia F-4erbush
June 8

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