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January 10, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-01-10

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-4

OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, January 10, 1982

The Micl

higan Daily 4

1

tedbtna nv Michig an
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

Vol. XCII, No. 82

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 481'09

- Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Autoworkers agree to
hesitant renegotiation

y' 1 1 %we LJ A 46r wolr 1 vU1 1
HE UAW'S FORD and General
Motors councils agreed yesterday
to open exploratory talks with the car
:companies on possible concessions on'
salaries and benefits in future contract
negotiations, a turn of events that was
sorely needed to bolster the ailing auto
industry.
Though it may be immediately
detrimental to their position, the UAW
must seriously consider accepting a.
salary cutback for its workers, and
beyond that, a series of important cut-
backs on fringe and health benefits for
all its members. If the UAW does not
:consider these fundamental con-
cessions, even more of the 211,000 em-
ployees currently on indefinite layoff
may lose their jobs..
UAW chief Douglas Fraser said the
bunion's agreement to hold exploratory
talks does not imply that any specific
concessions will be made.
Fraser is justified in his hesitancy.
The auto workers must be careful to
realize that the auto companies are
going to try to take full advantage of
the situation, and will certainly try to
make the auto workers absorb more
than their fair share of the burden of
.reviving the industry. In that context,
while it is realistic to accept these ex-
ploratory negotiations,-union officials
must continue to protect those contract
provisions which are rightfully their's.
Labor unions often receive a.
disproportionate amount of the blame
for the decline of the American auto
industry, and they are frequently
criticized for not attempting to solve
the crisis of productivity now plaguing
American car manufacturers. Yester-
day's move, however, may help the
lion to solve many of their publicity
problems and thereby ultimately

strengthen their bargaining position.
The unions will now be able to assert
without question that they are making
a realistic attempt to assist the
American auto industry in its fight to
become competitive.
There can be no question that the in-
dustry has lost its competitive edge.
Automobile sales for last year were the
worst since 1961, as yesterday's UAW
statement issued in Chicago reported.
The combined auto industry losses for
the 1981-82 year will total more than $5
billion dollars, a figure that cries out
for drastic help.
While ultimately the workers must
be prepared to contribute to the
revitalization of the industry, the dif-
ficulties are not entirely the making of
the union. A lack of investment
forethought and an inability to under-
stand the nation's growing need for
smaller cars have led to the decline of
the auto industry. The lure of im-
mediate profits and large dividends
caused the car companies to neglect
the long-range capital improvement
programs that might have permitted
the industry to avoid its current crisis
situation.
Car manufacturers have threatened
to move increasing amounts of their
production overseas to cheaper labor
markets if the UAW did not agree on
wage concessions. Against this type of
blackmail there was little else the
labor union could do to secure the
maximum number of jobs for its
members. It is thus not surprising that
Fraser and company agreed to the ex-
ploratory talks. It is only unfortunate
that such force had to be used to gain
such necessary concessions that may
eventually sustain the vitality of the
industry.

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The new East-West confron-
tation over Poland has revived
Cold War bickering over the 1945
Yalta agreements that were sup-
posed to assure peace and
freedom in Eastern Europe after
World War II.
With Poland still under martial
law that President Reagan
blames on the Soviet Union, there
are calls for Western rejection of
the Yalta accords.
DESPITE PLEDGES at Yalta
of free elections, the nations of
Eastern Europe one by one
became Soviet puppets. Poland, a
major concern at the conference,
came under Communist Party
control in 1947.
Former national security ad-
viser Zbigniew Brzezinski raised
the idea of renouncing the accor-
ds in a television interview last
week, and the Wall Street Journal
said in an editorial that renoun-
cing Yalta "would send a clear
message to Eastern Europe's
peoples that we have not written
off their aspirations for a better
future." But freedom for Eastern
Europe was exactly what the
Yalta accords were intended to
guarantee.
Since the agreements were
reached in February 1945, Yalta
has become a codeword for
Soviet domination of its eastern
European neighbors. And in the
Cold War rhetoric of the 1950s it
was painted as a betrayal of the
people of Eastern Europe.
PRESIDENT FRANKLIN
Roosevelt of the United States.
Prime Minister Winston Chur-
chill of Great Britain, and
Premier Joseph Stalin of the
Soviet Union met at Yalta, a
Soviet seaport on the baltic Sea,
as World War II was concluding
in Europe.
One of the chief objectives was
to bring Russia into the war
against Japan once Germany
was subdued. Agreement to form
the United nations was also
reached as the conference.
Of current interest is the Yalta
accord on the disposition of post-

Poland crisis
spurs new.
conflict over
Yalta accords
Byon MucLeod

war Europe. The allies agreed to
divide Germany into zones for
separate administration after the
surrender instead of joint oc-
cupation, a decision which leaves
Germany still divided.
THEY ALSO shifted the boun-
daries of Poland, restoring to the
Soviet Union a decision it gave up
in World War I and adding to
Poland portions of eastern Ger-
many with large Polish
populations.
America and Britain, concer-
ned for the future of the redefined
Poland living in the shadow of a
hostile Soviet Union, also sought
to guarantee the country's
freedom.
Churchill said at Yalta that
britain had gone to war so that
"Poland should be free and
sovereign . . . We drew our
swords for Poland." Both Britain
and France had declared war
against Germany after the blit-
zkrieg of Poland in 1939.
STALIN STRESSED the
problem of Russian security,
saying: "Throughout history,
Poland has been the corridor for
attack on Russia."
At the time, Soviet troops oc-
cupied Poland, and Moscow could
have done pretty much as it
pleased. But the war was not
quite over, and neither side wan-
ted a split at this critical point.
The "Yalta Declaration on

Liberated Europe" obligated the
big powers to help the countries
liberated from German oc-
cupation, and the former Axis
satellite states "to form interim
governmental authorities
broadly representative of all
democratic elements in the
population and pledged to the
earliest possible establishment
through free elections of gover-
nments responsive to the will of
the people."
THE DECLARATION also con-
tained this interesting, but long
forgotten, provision: "When, in
the opinion of the three gover-
nments, conditions in any
European liberated state or any
former Axis satellite. . . make
such action necessary, they will
immediately establish ap-
propriate machinery for the
carrying out of the joint respon-
sibilities set forth."
If Yalta were still binding, the
West could argue that this
obligates the Big Three to inter-
vene jointly in Poland.
The Soviets, on the other hand,
would contend that a responsive
government was formed in
Poland by the will of the people
and this government is free to do
what it wants.
STALIN ALSO agreed at Yalta
to include non-communists in the
new governments of Eastern
Europe. At the time this was con-

sidered a major concession by
Stalin.
Coalition governments were
formed according to the Yalta'
pledge. Elections were held in
Hungary in 1945, in which Com-
munists won only one-fifth of tle
vote. Early in 1948, Hungary's
Communist Party, through its
control of the ministry of the in-
terior, arrested leading
politicians, forced the resignation
of Premier Ferenc Nagy, and
gained full control.
In Romania, a coalition gove
nment headed by a non-
communist was overthrown in
December; 1947, and a people's
republic was proclaimed.
Bulgaria's coalition government
was replaced in a few months by
a communist republic.
COMMUNISTS captured one-
third of the vote , in
Czechoslovakia's elections in
1946, and emerged as the
dominant coalition partner.
Communists consolidated their
total control in 1948. The Com-
munist Party gained control of
Poland by January 1947., In
Yugoslavia and Albania,. com-
munist elements held power from
the start, although maintaining
more independence of Moscow.
Thirty years after Yalta, 35
nations meeting in Helsinki,
Finland, signed a pact on
Security and Cooperation in
Europe which affirmed the
national borders which evolved
after World War II.
The Helsinki Accords pledged
increased cooperation between
the nations of Eastern and
Western Europe to allay threei
decades of tensions. They also
prohibited outside interference in
the internal affairs of the
signatory nations.
This appeared to abrogate the
Yalta obligation of the Big Three
to insure internal order and
democracy in the former captive
nations of World War II.
McLeod is a writer for the
Associated Press.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Creationist views mindtwisting

To the Daily:
I have a few words on the
recent decision handed down by
a U.S. District Court Judge in
Arkansas. The decision struck
down that state's law requiring
equal time for Creationist views
whenever and wherever Dar-
winian evolution is taught in the
public schools. Liberal, thinking
minds are now in the curious

controlling consciousness behind
the organization of the universe is
no less an assertion than to say
that there is a God who ordains
for All, and it looks damned
tenuous when you ieflect on the
distance between primordial
protein globules and a human
being.
Of course churches should not
be teaching science; they're in-
comoetent to the task. Neither

religion when it proposed (and it
has convinved most of us,
without direct statement) that
what cannot be proved by obser-
vation does not greatly matter,
and it has proceeded to catechize
us in more and more obscure
mysteries, no less dishonest than
any hocus-pocus put over by a
Church charged with the conver-
sion of idolators: To say that
migratory birds find their way by

You're run across the super-6
natural in some form, i.e., you
are out of the realm of Natural
Science.
It is downright funny that the
ACLU (think about what the let-
ters stand for, folks) proposes to
limit the teaching of public-
school students to the proved.
What they should do, to make the
Creation-Scientists look like the
mind-twisters they really are, is

lat. -,

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