Buhr: Anatomy of a labor dispute
By CHRIS PARKS
aily News Analysis
Striking local 157 of the United Auto
Workers in Ann Arbor is a small, rela-
tively young union which is at present en-
gaged in a struggle with a huge national
The local represents workers at the
Buhr Machine Tool Company which was,
until recently, an independent concern.
Two one one half years ago, however,
Buhr was purchased by Bendix Corp.
which was at the time well on its way to
becoming second only to the University
as an economic power in the city.
The union has been on strike since
negotiations with Bendix broke down
last Monday. This dispute is expected
to come before a state mediator today.
Negotiated about six months before
Bendix took over, the union's former con-
tract included several guarantees and
is considered to be fairly favorable to the
workers. The first contract ever negoti-
ated by the fledgling union, it expired
Bendix, however, operates in a differ-
ent league from the relatively miniscule
Buhr Co., and the exact implications of
the changeover are, in the course of the
current negotiations, becoming apparent.
This difference was made clear when
William Coughlin, who had negotiated
the original contract for Buhr, was re-
placed as chief negotiator by Robert
Childress, director of labor relations
from the Bendix corporate regional head-
quarters in Southfield.
Childress, when he took over for
Coughlin in May, explained that he
viewed the former contract as "the most
restrictive and most horrendous in the
Bendix corporation." From that point on,
he explained, things would be done the
One feature of the Bendix way appar-
ently is pressuring the local into a set-
tlement. On June 23, according to notes
taken at the bargaining session, Chil-
dress expressed the company's dissatis-
faction with the progress of the talks.
Due to this dissatisfaction, apparently,
the company decided to discontinue va-
See UNION, Page 6
Vol. LXXXI, No. 54-S Ann Arbor, Michigan-Tuesday, July 27, 1971 Ten Cents Eight Pages
By ZACHARY SCHILLER
Members of the Board of Directors governing the Uni-
versity Cellar reached a consensus Saturday that there
should be a no censorship policy in the Cellar's book selec-
The special meeting of the board's executive committee
was arranged to discuss the controversy arising out of the
banning of certain types of publications from the store's
The controversy centered around the informal board
policy to not promote books
which instruct persons on
how to make or use weap-
ons. Such books, althoughCre on
they could still be ordered,
were not on display at the
Cellar and were not in stock ockli-eed
unless specially ordered.
At the Saturday meeting, the
executive committee discussed ill i ls
with about 25 public spectators
various ways to implement the WASHINGTON (1T - The Sen-
Cellar's aim of serving the Uni- ate refused by a surprisingly
versity community. wide margin to limit debate on a
There was nearly unanimous bill to help Lockheed Aircraft
agreement, both between t h e Corp. out of financial troubles.
public and the board, that ban- The vote on debate limiting
ning of books from the Cellar's cloture was 42 to 47, or 18 short
shelves is unacceptable, of the required two-thirds that
Early in the meeting Engi- would have silenced Sen. William
neering Prof. Jonathan Bulk- Proxmire, (D.-Wis.), and a bi-
ley, who originated the pol- partisan band of foes of the bill.
icy of banning certain books, "It looks very good," Prox.
from the shelves, said that the mire told newsmen. "This was a
question is "whether the board very good strong showing on oum
should provide any guidance at part."
all on priorities" regarding book "I'm very hopeful the Senate
selection. will debate this and then kill it,
The committee agreed that Proxmire said.
in the future, decisions on book The vote came after two hours
policy will be left to the oper- of debate during which Proxmire
ations manager of the store. urged the Senate not to "jum
A motion affirming the pol- up like spineless errand boys
icy not to take any book off the every time a rich corporation
shelves because of the personal snaps its fingers."
dislike of a board member or Sen. John Tower (R-Texas)
the store employes will be the administration's chief floor
drawn up and voted on at the spokesman, said "we didn't ge
August 27 meeting of the Board quite as many votes as expect
of Directors. ed."
Bill Taylor, grad, Acting Tower immediately filed an
Chairman of the Board, e m - other petition signed by 16 sena
phasized that the board "stum- tors setting up a second cloture
bled" on the censorship policy vote for tomorrow.
"without realizing its full im- Lockheed and the administra
plications." He stressed t h a t tion have said the nation's num
there was "no conspiracy in - ber one defense contractor may
volved." go broke in August with out fed
However, Taylor said that he eral backing for $250 million it
is "personally afraid of t h e private bank loans to complete
board being involved in any work on its commercial, 400 pas
kind of censorship policy - it's senger TriStar airbus.
opening Pandora's box to start The Lockheed aid is container
drawing up guidelines." in a bill that would establish a
Several people present at the three-man government boars
meeting said that every book with authority to grant $2 billion
for which there is demand in loan guarantees to big busi
should be in the Cellar. Since nesses whose collapse could dam
the Cellar is supposed to serve age the economy of the nation o:
the University community, they a region. A firm could get up ti
See 'U', Page 2 $250 million.
Bendix employes watch RIP picketers
RIP pickets Bendix in support
o striking IhrCo. emplo yes
By ZACHARY SCHILLER
About 35 members of the Radi-
cal Independent Party (RIP) pic-
keted the Aerospace Division of
the Bendix Corporation here yes-
terday in support of the striking
workers at Buhr Machine Tool
Co., a subsidiary of Bendix.
The RIP members distributed
literature to incoming employes
in the morning and as the outlet
shut for the day in the after-
noon, The literature urged the
employes to support workers at
Buhr who are striking against
"You have the same interest
in fighting against Bendix for
your own job as the Buhr divi-
sion workers," the leaflet said.
Bendix is the city's largest em-
ployer except for the University.
Bendix officials refused to talk
with reporters about the situa-
tion. After first agreeing to dis-
cuss the RIP action, the person-
nel director then decided that he
would "Just as soon reporters
didn't talk to anyone up here,"
according to a Sanford security
Most Bendix employes seemed
to be completely unaware of the
Buhr strike. Several wanted to
know what the purpose of the RIP
action was, while others were
"What they need in about a
six-month stay in Red Aussia,"
commented one Bendix omploye.
"How about a four-day visit
to Red China instead?" one RIP
member asked, when told of the
After the picketing had been
going on for some time, reporters
were prohibited from even speak-
ing to Bendix administrators or
entering company property at all.
Most employes of the corpora-
tion watched events from the
roof and windows of the build-
RIP members participating in
the picketing said they hoped
that their action would inspire.
the predominantly white collar
employes to form some kind of
union or raise some support for
the striking Buhr workers. At
present, employes at the Aero-
space Division are not organiz-
ed into any bargaining group,
Sanford Security guards em-
ployed by Bendix generally re-
fused to comment on the situa-
tion. One guard said he had no
objection to the action, but -aid
"I have my job to do."
Speaking of the Bendix moan-
agement, the guardsaid," 'h y
call the shots, or at least they'd
like to." He then proceeded to tell
the picketing RIP members not
to block the entrance to the
RIP members reason that Ben-
dix fears a cooperative effort be-
tween the Buhr workers and em-
ployes of their other divisions in
A major reason for the picket-
ing is to make Bendix employes
aware of their relation with other
Bendix outlets and employes.