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November 30, 1988 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-30

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 30, 1988 - Page5

New book lets auto
workers tell their story

XA , x r .. ...........

BY JONATHAN SCOTT
Autoworkers - the backbone of America's produc-
tion-oriented working class - have a bleak outlook on
the future, Richard Feldman, a University alumnus and
author of a new book End of the Line, told a crowded
Guild House yesterday.
Feldman's book is an oral history of the American
auto industry from the point of view of the men and
women who labor in today's auto plants. Thirty workers
share their own firsthand insights into the industry based
on their years on the assembly line, as union activists,
and as participants in the American dream, Feldman said.
There have been recent books on the industry, he said,
but only from the perspective of upper level manage-
ment. End of the Line, instead, allows the "heart and
-soul" of the country to tell their story; it gives them a
chance to voice their expectations in the face of an
uncertain future.
FELDMAN SAID a shared attitude among workers
is the fear and apprehension they have about their chil-
dren's future. "Everyone of them are scared to death of
the future. What's coming to an end is the belief that the
next generation will do better than the previous one."
The American dream is now bankrupt for many of the
workers, he said. Until about ten years ago, autoworkers
enjoyed prosperity unmatched in any industrial society.

But the international auto industry, dominated by the
United States since World War II, he explained, is being
transformed into a new system that American autowork-
ers find little security in.
Workers are beginning to feel that "the American
dream does not include community," he said. They're
saying "it's a bankrupt dream, that we've reached the end
of what was a short line of prosperity."
WORKERS - who previously saw advances in
technology and increases in productivity as positive -
now interpret advances as negative developments that put
their children's future in jeopardy, he said.
But despite the workers' pessimism about the future,
Feldman said, they are beginning to question fundamen-
tal tenets of the dominant ideology in America -
namely, individualism and materialism -which is a
positive sign.
Workers are bringing home high wages to neighbor-
hoods where 80 percent of the people are laid off, he said.
They're seeing the emptiness of "trading their lives for
capitalism."
Feldman said he hopes his book will provide an ex-
ample for others to follow; that is, to allow the workers
in America a chance to discuss and debate issues that the
"experts" usually dominate.

MSA
Continued from Page 1
-that Tagar issue a formal apology;
e that all of Tagar's members at-
tend a workshop on racial attitudes;
- that Tagar conduct a bucket drive
to benefit the International Red
Cross/Crescent's Lebanon. Relief
Fund;
-and that Tagar remove the bus
,Provost
Continued from Page 1
Committee, said the provost must
make University waste-cutting a high
priority. But, he said, "If programs in
humanities are cut, people are going
to be very skeptical."
Kittrie added, "The Provost needed
to be someone who is accessible and
willing to be open-minded - some-

from the Diag.
If Tagar is derecognized it will not
be able to place advertising in desig-
nated places, such as buses, display
cases and Diag boards.
Carney said derecognition would
violate the first amendment, citing a
1972 Supreme Court case which re-
voked derecognition by a Connecticut
community college of the student
group Students for a Democratic So-
ciety. The Supreme Court upheld the

one willing to work with students.
Clearly, all of that was met."
Other students, however, disagree.
United Coalition Against Racism
member Kim Smith said Vest has
"shown no leadership around anti-
racist issues or racism on this cam-
pus." She said Vest was "outwardly
uncritical" of Engineering students
who allegedly tore down the Diag
anti-racist shanties for a scavenger
hunt last year.
said.
None of Williams co-workers had
any comment on the case. University
Associate Director of Housing Archie
Andrews repeatedly refused to com-
ment.
Williams was advised not to com-
ment on the case. A date has not yet
been set for the appeal.

right of the group to demonstrate its
beliefs freely regardless of its politi-
cal stance.
Since the University has delegated
the Diag as a public forum, Carney
said it must be open for all political
discussion.
"Because the bus does address a
political situation, the words written
on the bus are clearly speech and
therefore protected by the first
amendment," he said.
Members of the Ad Hoc Commit-
tee Against Anti-Arab Racism said
they did not see the issue as a first
amendment violation.
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Appea
Continued from Page 1
that Williams was arrested in a crack
hiouse.
"There was no crack found in the
house, and there were no drugs found
on (Williams') person," Quarterman

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