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June 22, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-06-22

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420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Edtorials printed in The Michign Doily express ther ndiidual
opinions of the uthor Ths must be noted in oll reprints.
Tuesday, June 22, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552
Paying for ROTC
ALTHOUGH THE Regents instructed the administration
in December 1969 to ask the Department of Defense
to assume the full operating costs of the campus ROTC
program, University officials appear to be amenable to a
plan that would provide the University with only a small
percentage of its annual ROTC expenditures.
The plan, as outlined in a bill currently in the House
of Representatives, would make payments to colleges with
ROTC programs in the amount of $500 for each cadet
who receives his commission through the program.
With the present level of ROTC enrollment at the
University, this plan would provide the University with
about $55,000 annually, with minor fluctuations as the
number of ROTC graduates varies each year.
In December 1969, however, the Regents estimated
the costs of providing secretaries, janitors, utilities and
maintainance services for ROTC at about $89,000 an-
nually. In addition, they estimated the fair market rental
price of North Hall, which the program now uses without
charge, at 100,000-$200,000 a year.
ADD TO the Regents' figures the increased costs of
labor and materials due to inflation, coupled with
rising property values, and the cost of maintaining ROTC
surely would have climbed even higher over the past
18 months.
But University administrator Robert Williams, who is
in charge of the University-Defense Department nego-
tiations, minimizes the disparity between the costs of
maintaining the ROTC program and the House bill.
Williams says the program doesn't use "nearly the
entire building" and should hardly be expected to pay
rent, utilities and maintainance costs for North Hall.
VISITORS TO North Hall are hard pressed to find any
unused space in the building. And if there were un-
used space in the building, it remains unanswered why
no other units of the University have been allowed that
Williams says that the "empty space" has not been
used because "the faculty seems to think that if they
have offices or classrooms there, they would be demon-
strating antipathy toward anti-war people."
A more likely explanation, however, is that the ROTC
program would not want to be placed into a situation in
which large numbers of "outsiders" would be using their
building - a paranoia that stems from past bombings
and trashings of the building.
WILLIAMS SAYS the $500 figure is only a starting point.
"We think the payments will be gradually advanced,"
he says. "Earlier the Defense Department only wanted to
pay $400 per commission. These things take time."
But even Williams admits that the current bill pro-
bably won't be approved by Congress at this time. "They
usually don't approve appropriation bills the first time
they are brought up," he observes.
Although he sees no urgency in making the Defense
Department comply with the Regents' request, perhaps
others in the University will.
T TNCERTAINTY OVER the amount of the University's
appropriation from the State has necessitated a
freeze on all faculty pay raises and a three per cent
across-the-board cut in all departments.
While the University's payments for ROTC are by
no means solely responsible for the University's financial
woes, perhaps if the faculty saw the connection between
their amended paychecks and the administration's lame
attempts to get money from Washington, a proper settle-
ment might be hastened.
Somi'mer Ediorial Staff

Co-Editor Co-Editor
ROBERT CONROWB..........................Books Editor
JIM JUDKIs... .. . .. ..Photography Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Rose Sue Berstein, Mark Dillen, Jonathan Miller, Robert
Schreiner, Geri Sprung
ASSISTANT NIGHT EDITORS: Patricia E. Bauer, Anita Crone, Jim Irwin,
Alan Lenhoff, Chris Parks
Summer Business Staff
JIM STOREY ......... . . ..... .. ..Business Manager
JANET ENGL ...... .............. . Display Advertising
FRAN HYMAN. . ... . ..Classified Advertising
BECKY VAN DYKE. . .................. . .. Circulation Department
BILL ABBOTT.. ............... General Office Assistant
Summer Sports Staff
RICK CORNFELD ....... ....,...... .... ................ Sports Editor
SANDI GENISE..................... .. Associate Sports Editor

paul travis
that big line keeps on rolling
working class hero

WHEN THE man in the personnel office looked up
at me and _ said, "Paul, you'll be working in
department 71 over at Eldon, alright?", my heart.
stopped for a minute.
Thinking about the thousands of other guys out
of work who were begging for this chance I real-
ized that I couldn't be fussy about what job they
gave me so I relied, with a forced smile, "Great".
Eldon - Chrysler's Eldon Ave. Axle Plant -
is located on Detroit's East Side a few blocks away
from the City Airport along with two other Chrysler
factories, Huber Avenue Foundry, and the Detroit
Forge Plant. Eldon makes all the axles for Chrys-
ler cars and trucks.
The reason those few words affected me so
strongly was that I have already put in two sum-
mers at Eldon and last summer was spent sweating
in Dept. 71. I hated every minute of it.
DEPT. 71 is the department that machines and
finishes all the axle housings for Chrysler, from
the lightweight tube housings for the compact Darts
and Valiants to the huge truck housings. The de-
partment has many lines running at once, usually
one for each kind of housing, sometimes more than
one depending on how many housings are needed.
When I reported for work last year the fore-
man, Frank, assigned me to the "notcher" on C line
which handles the big housings for the Chryslers,
and the large size Dodges and Plymouths. That
first day after the soft life up at school almost
killed me.
At the front of C line is a man referred to as
the "hanger". His job is to hang raw-unfinished
housings on the hooks on the line. When we ran
a full line, which we did almost all of last summer,
he hangs them on every hook. These housings, at a
rate of a little over 200 an hour, move down the
line past various machines. The men at these ma-
chines take the housings off the hooks, put them
into their machines, let the machines do their job
and then take the housings out of the machines
and put them back on the line. Most men operate
two machines so they don't waste those precious
few seconds while their first machine is working
on the housing.
THE MACHINES on C line take the housings
and straighten them, burr them, drill them, broach
them, notch them, bore them, and machine them
so that hopefully they come out at the end meeting
certain exact measurements. For the 7 and a quar-
ter hours that we worked (we had three paid, 15-
minute breaks) our production was set at close to
1400 housings. Which meant that if we ever ran
that many housings past the counter at the end of
the line we could quit and sit around till it was time
to punch out.
The only problem was that to run that many

pieces and get done early enough to make it worth
our trouble the hanger had to hang a housing on
every hook and all the machines had to work per-
fectly all day, which very rarely happened.
We didn't make production often last summer
on a full line and most of the guys on the line felt
it was just as well. 1400 housings at 42 pounds
apiece is a lot of iron any way you figure it.
THE ONE redeeming quality of the C line
was the days we ran a half line. This only hap-
pened on a few Mondays and Fridays when a lot of
men were absent. Production for a half line is only
6906 housings. The hanger is only supposed to hang
the housings ever other hook because there are
fewer men working on the line.
But by hanging two housings and then skipping
a hook or some thimes three we could make produc-
tion sometimes two hours early. Which meant for
two hours we could -sit around and relax and play
cards. Those days were almost enjoyable.
That is the story of my last summer in Dept. 71
and explains why I feared going back. But back I
went anyways.
The minute I showed the guard at the door
my badge I was struck by the sameness of it all.
The same guard at the door. The same men running
past me to their departments. The same stacks of
housings and shafts and gears and brake drums
lying about. The same guys who worked on the
line last year were already at work on the same
machines working on the same housings. As I
walked up to the. same foreman, Frank, a few guys
waved to me.
AS FRANK saw me a small smile began to play
at the corners of his lips. "Paul, what machine was
that you worked last year?"
Keeping my voice low in hopes he wouldn't
hear me I replied, "The Notcher".
"Well, we'll put you back there now, wait here
while I get you some gloves and an apron."
While I was waiting, Jim, a hillbilly who has
worked at Eldon for 15 years, came up to me.
"Where they gonna put you?" he asked.
"Back on the notcher," I replied, my face show-
ing my disgust.
"You're lucky, Jim said, "people ain't buying
cars these days so we're only running a half line,
and getting done about two hours early every day."
SUDDENLY, as if by magic, the filthy, smoke-
filled, grease-laden air seemed as sweet as a flower
bed and the never ending, ear-splitting, mind-
numbing din of machines seemed as pretty as a cage
full of nightingales. I started .smiling and doing a
little dance.
"Who knows?" I shouted to Jim. "This summer
might not be so bad after all."


_ c a - - ~ s
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