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September 12, 1980 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-12

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California wine
strike hits most
major vintners

The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 12, 1980-Page 5
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DOWNTOWN

AP Photo
MAINE YANKEE, THE state's only nuclear plant, is the focus of a Sept. 23
referendum on a bill to outlaw generation of power by nuclear fission. Never
before has a state considered banning nuclear power and closing its nuclear
sower plants.
Maine voters may
ban nuclear power

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI)-The
California winery strike yesterday
spread to nearly all of the 23 major vin-
tners who produce the bulk of the
state's wine.
The strike, -the first in 35 years of
collective bargaining, was occurring as
the grape harvest was trucked up to the
wineries for crushing and processing.
IF THE STRIKE-BOUND wineries
are unable to handle the ripe grapes
speedily, the grapes will spoil or will be
left on the vines. Field workers who
pick the grapes were not involved in the
strike.
The wineries insisted that with
management and temporary person-
nel, they have been able to process
200,000 tons a week. However, the load
is expected to double when the crush
hits its peak period.
Locals 45 and 186 of the Winery,
Distillery and Allied Workers Union
said there would be no way the wineries
could process the whole crop without
the 3,500 employees now on strike.
THE STRIKE THREATENED no
imminent shortage for wine con-
sumers, but the picketing could reduce
the size of this year's output from the $1
billion California industry. The
picketing also will slow distribution of
wine already in the bottle.
After a federal mediator failed to
keep negotiations going, the strike

began last Friday at plants of Gallo and
United Vintners, the two biggest wine
producers in the world.
Other companies belonging to the 23-
member Winery Employers
Association were struck in stages
earlier this week. The last dozen mem-
bers were being struck yesterday as
fast as union business agents could
travel among numerous sites for for-
mal appearances.
SOME WELL-KNOWN labels in-
volved were Almaden, California
Growers, Christian Brothers, Charles
Krug, Guild, Sabastiani, Franzia, San
Martin and Italian Swiss Colony.
However, California has 350 small
wineries, many of top quality, that were
not involved.
Besides some grower cooperatives,
the large wineries struck include firms
taken over in recent years by such gian-
ts as Heublein, National Distillers,
Seagram and Coca Cola.
Arthur Mendelson, attorney for the
employers, said the industry has never
before experienced a strike, and, "The
union wants to test its strength. The
companies want to determine if they
can operate."
Issues involved the length of
probation for new employees and
wages. Management offered 27 per cent
over three years, and the unions asked
for 30 per cent.

HMEO'S

a

114 East
Washington

,

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)-The
ballot boasts only one question, but the
answer Maine voters give on Sept. 23
could rattle the entire U.S. nuclear
power industry.
,No one, however, is making any con-
fident predictions about the outcome of
Maine's controversial referendum.
Never before has a state considered
banning nuclear power and closing its
niplear plant.
No one even knows for certain
*whether states have such legal
authority.
Other states have voted to restrict
development of future nuclear plan-
ts,-a federal judge last year ruled one
such California law invalid-but none
has voted on closing an existing reac-
tor.
. MAINE'S QUESTION is short and
straightforward: "Shall an act to
pr9hibit the generation of electric
power by means of nuclear fission
become law."
,The possible answers are equally to
the point: Yes and No.
,The proposed law declares in its in-
treduction that nuclear power "presen-
ts pn inherent and unreasonable risk of,
economic, physical aid- mental harm"
tq the people of Maine.
,But the people of Maine are not ex-
ppcted to overwhelm the polling places,
despite almost daily newspaper articles
anti letters to the editor and weeks of
debate between pro- and anti-nuclear
fgrces.;
)DEPUTY SECRETARY OF State
James Henderson estimates no more
th4n one-third of the 700,000 registered
v ters will turn out.
A low turnout "usually benefits those
who are more intensely committed to
their position"-in this case, the anti-
Nuclear forces pushing for the "yes"
vote, Henderson said.
If it passes, the referendum will close
the Maine Yankee nuclear plant in
Wiscasset; 45 miles up the coast from
Portland, which went on line in 1972 and
supplies roughly one-third of Maine's
rectricity.
Or will it? A study by Maine Attorney

General Richard Cohen's staff con-
cluded the proposed law "would
probably be found to violate the United
States Constitution" because the
federal government has jurisdiction
over the licensing and operation of
nuclear plants.
SHOULD THE REFERENDUM
pass, most observers believe it's vir-
tually certain that Central Maine
Power Co., the state's largest electric
utility and principal owner of Maine
Yankee, would challenge the law in
court and seek to keep the plant open.
The legal battle would last "a
minimum of three to five years," con-
cedes Raymond Shadis, head of the
Maine Nuclear Referendum Commit-
tee.
Shadis, a 38-year-old North
Edgecomb artist and teacher whose
century-old farmhouse is two miles
from Maine Yankee, coordinated the
effort that collected more than 55,000
signatures-,only 37,200 were
needed-to force the issue to referen-
dum.
Shadis made safety the paramount
issue in his campaign, warning of the
danger of a sudden meltdown at Maine
Yankee or the gradual release of low-
level radiation.

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