THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Tuesday, July,27, 1971
Union hits Bendix in local strike
(Continued from Page 5) PERSONAL
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(Continued from Page 1) Bendix apparently finds this
cation pay, insurance benefits, situation restrictive to their
pension contributions and paid freedom of operation. In May
holidays. bargaining sessions, Childress
When queried on this point, said "Bendix will not accept any
company officials refused to ei- restrictions on subcontracting.,
ther confirm or deny the use of Another issue raised by sub-
this tactic. contracting is the question of the
In large part the roadblock to welfare of the local community.
settlement centers on the issue Last summer, although business
of subcontracting. was good enough to require con-
In subcontracting. the company siderable subcontracting, no more
farms out to other concerns work than a handful of new employes
which in their opinion exceeds were hired and the facility was
the capacity of the local shop, not expanded.
This practice takes two basic Company public relations of-
forms, contracts to outside shops, ficials contacted in Southfield,
and in-plant subcontractors. however, declined to comment on
Outside shops to which work is this policy or its effects on the
sub-contracted are generally out community at large.
of the city, often in Detroit. Second only to the subcontract-
These are frequently non-union ng issue in importance is a bat-
shops where contracts can often tGe being waged over transfer
be ilted leos expensively than rights.
in the nion shops such as Bhr The major question is whether
In-plant subcontracting is a a company which moves a plant
complex arrangement which in- location has an obligation to at-
vlves workers outside the bar- low workers to move with it.
gaining unit laboring side by side On this issueO Buhr workers foci
with onion employesthey have special reasons for
The rationale for in-plant subfearing their treatment by Ben-
contracting is that sudden de Adix.
mans in specific production Abot a year ago Bendi
areas make extra help necessary known as MicroMetricalA bo.
on a temporary basis. Within months orders came from
Some of these subcontracted corporate headuarters to move'
workers in the Buhr plant, how- the plant elsewhere.
ever, have been working there Micro - Metrical's approxi-
for as long as ten years. In the mately 200 emplyes. many of
plant's electric divisin sbcon- then workers with years of serv-
tracted workers outnumber union ice to the company, were given
workers. notice and their jobs terminated.
The union has no control over Further events have tended to
men who are not a part of their underscore union concerns on
bargaining unit. This means this point. Bendix recently bought
there is no control over wages a firm in Detroit known as Mich-
which often run less and some- igan Special Machine Co. which
times more than those for ounion does much the same work as
workers doing the same job. Buhr.
Union officials further charge At the same time the company
that subcontracting has been owns a 90 acre site near town
used as a tool for strike-breaking and plans for a factory there
and that it is a roundabout meth- have already been drawn up.
od of employing scab labor, a Union officials believe that the
practice forbidden by law in Ann company is planning a merger
Arbor. of Buhr and Michigan Special
In the last weeks of April and and locating it at the new site.
early May, they charge, the c0o0 The company, they argue'
pany farmed out most of their could easily sell the present Buhr
contracts to non-union shops in site to the University, which they
Detroit so that the summer's im- say has long been interested in
pending strike wouldn't effect such a deal.
production. James Brinkerhoff, director of
The orginal contract negotiated University business operations
before Bendix appeared requires confirmed at least part of the
that all plant employes have 40 Inion's fears, saying the Uni
hours of work in their classifica- versity has a "long standing in0
tion before work for that classifi- terest" in the site and has indi-
cation can be subcontracted. cated as imo, to Bendix.
o TOM CROCKERP
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In order to avert a repeat of
the Micro-Metrical experience,
union is demanding that workers
be given their choice of follow-
ing the company or receiving
adequate severance pay.
According to notes from bar-
gaining sessions, the company
has been adamant in refusing
such an arrangement. Company
officials c o n t a c t e d yesterday
choose to remain silent on this
One charge on which com-
pany officials have not been
nearly so reticent to speak,
however, has been that of
They point with pride to their
record in this field as one of
the original signers of President
Marry Truman's Partners for
P r o g r e s s anti-discrimination
Bendix, they maintain, has al-
ways been an "equal opportunity
employer" with an "active pro-
gram for hiring minorities."
But in the Buhr plant out of
about 200 workers, six are black.
Further, these six are all em-
ployed in the so-called "unskill-
ed" classifications- mainly as
An apprentice program de-
signed to afford an opportunity
for young people for vocational
training has similarly failed in
the racial field, according to
union officials. The program,
they charge, has not brought a
single black into the shop.
The situation in other Bendix
divisions, from all reports, is
mnuch the same. Union officials
claim that little or no blacks are
employed at any of the corpora-
tion's three other divisions il
Company personnel directors,
however, refuse to divulge fig-
ures on employment of minori-
The strike at Buhr rests on
these three major issues and on
the two most important-sub-
contracting and transfer rights
-both the company and tho
unionhremain far apart.
While company officials con-
fidently declare their intention
to assume "unlimited rights" in
these areas, the union has yet to
Oine point on which both sides
seem to be in agreement is that
it is going to be a long strike.
The possible consequences f
a defeat for the union on the
major issues have created some
militance on the part of the
Summing ursthie sood of grim
dettrmination, G eo0rg e Judy.'
chie fsteward of the local, says
"this is not a strike for money.
If it isn't settled in our favor we
won't have jobs."
A photograph on page three
of Saturday's Daily labeled
"RIP members confer on third
party proposal" actually show-
ed members of the Radical In-
dependent Party and union
representatives discussing the
strike at Buhr Machine Tool
Want to be in one?
If you are in one or you want
to join a CR Group, call BARB
or CLAIRE of 662-4431, ext.
Long Hair Should
Be Cut As Often
As Short Hair
NOW 4 SHOPS
0 EAST UNIV. AT SO. UNIV.
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MICHIGAN REPERTORY 71
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