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September 14, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-14

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 14, 1990

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.


The exploitive South
Union busting there harms workers everywhere

- t
CB c riTY. caKr9/


been given a written reprimand or
complaint about her work in 18 years.
And who hasn't missed a day of work
for 10 years. And who hasn't taken a
vacation for the last six years. What
should the company do for such an
employee? In Goldsboro, North
Carolina, the company fired her.
The worker in question, Ina Mae
Best, worked for Goldtex, which spent
thousands of dollars in an effort to de-
feat a union organizing drive by the
Amalgamated Textile Workers Union
in March. Pitting white workers against
African Americans, Goldtex success-
fully stymied the momentum which had
led more than 70 percent of the com-
pany's workers to sign union cards by
last December.
Best is an active member of Black
Workers for Justice (BWFJ), a North
Carolina-based coalition of labor and
community groups fighting the sub-
minimum wage conditions and long
Working hours faced by many workers
in the South. She was active in the or-
ganizing drive at Goldtex; this summer
she participated in a BWFJ tour to cities
in the Midwest, including Detroit,
seeking support and solidarity from
northern unions in the BWFJ fight
against companies like Goldtex.
Best was fired when she returned
fom the tour; many of those with her
were subject to harassment, transfers,
and firings. Goldtex instituted new
production quotas and other work rules
to eliminate union supporters from its
North Carolina, like the rest of the
South, is brimming with corporations
like Goldtex. Behind the glossy images
of a "New South" rising like a phoenix
from the ashes of the racist old one lies
the harshly exploitative, low wage, and
non-union working conditions that
makes places like North Carolina at-
tractive to northern companies. North
Carolina itself has the lowest union
density (6 percent) of any state in the
Many of the companies relocating in
southern states do so in the so-called
Black Belt counties whose population
is primarily African American.
Throughout the South -$- in central
Louisiana, south-central Alabama, and
eastern North Carolina - it is in these
areas where workers earn the least and

babies die the fastest. Moreover, the
oppressive conditions in such areas are
compounded by the presence there of
massive toxic dumps; three of the na-
tion's four largest waste disposal sights
are in southern Black Belt counties.
The racism and anti-worker attitudes
which continue to permeate the South
take their toll in the North as well.
Even as the North Carolina economy
has added 100,000 jobs in the last
decade, Detroit alone has lost almost
300,000 jobs, dropping it to the ninth
Largest city in the recent U.S. census
and jeopardizing an already fragile tax
base and social service network. One
cannot drive more than a few blocks in
Detroit without seeing a burned-out
warehouse, a gutted auto factory, or an
abandoned mill.
Many of those jobs - and corpora-
tions - still exist. But they have gone
South, to places like North Carolina,
where wages are cheap but where
people are starving; where costly health
plans are non-existent but where infant
mortality runs rampant; where unions
don't exist but where, as a conse-
quence, people have no protection
against such tried-and-true managerial
practices as speed-up, race-baiting,
forced overtime, and phony write-ups.
It is in this context that we should
understand the United Autoworkers'
negotiations with General Motors for a
contract to replace the old one, which
expires today. As long as GM contin-
ues to openly insist that it must reduce
its northern work force to cut costs -
a not so subtle way of advertising that
it wants to continue moving UAW jobs
to the hospitable anti-union climate of
the South and the Third World - the
UAW risks losing more members, De-
troit risks losing more jobs, and work-
ers like Ina Mae Best will continue to
be fired for having the courage to speak
None of these things are inevitable.
But workers North and South, white
and African American, U.S. and non-
U.S., will have to stand together to
keep them from happening. The old
union adage about "an injury to one
being an injury to all" still holds.
Hopefully the UAW will realize as
much - not just in these latest negoti-
ations, but in the solidarity it extends in
the future to people everywhere like Ina
Mae Best.

- - IL

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Kosson oversimplifies
1990 Civil Rights Act
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to Roger
Kosson's article in which he supports the
1990 Civil Rights Act by caricaturing the
issues and preventing one from coldly ana-
lyzing the facts (9/10/90). I hope to clarify
his description of the importance of the
Act's restoration of the Griggs v. Duke
Power Company (1971) holding over the
more recent Court holding in Wards Cove
Packing Company v. Atonio (1989). Thus
students will be able to fully address the
true competing arguments.
Kosson explains that in Griggs, the
Court found that "once a plaintiff has
established a prima facie case of discrimi-
nation, the burden of proof then shifts to
the employer." This explanation does not
inform the reader on what basis a plaintiff
may establish a prima facie case.
The Court held that one may do so if
the employment practices have a discrimi-
natory effect. Thus in principle one who
finds a disparity between the racial compo-
sition of the work force and that of the
population could bring cause.
In this system, a merit-based hiring
practice might have a discriminatory effect
(as a result of profound historical disadvan-
taging), be charged with violation of Title
'VII of the Civil Rights Act, and be re-
quired to prove that its hiring practice bore
"a significant and demonstrable relation-
ship to effective job performance."
In 1989, the Court found in the Wards
Cove case that one must first demonstrate
a relevant comparison "between the racial
composition of the qualified persons in the
labor market and the persons holding at-is-
sue jobs." In addition to this requirement,
one must further show that particular em-
ployment practice(s) caused this disparate
condition before the burden shifts to the
employer. Kosson blurs these distinctions
by describing the Court as arguing that
"the burden of proof should never shift to
the employer."
The strongest argument opposing the
Civil Rights Act suggests that the previ-
ous ruling encouraged business to estab-
lish quotas to avert the appearance of dis-
crimination and to avoid litigation. Kos-
son rejects this response and argues that
no proof has been offered to substantiate
this reported increase in quotas, nor have
discrimination lawsuits dramatically in-
creased since 1971. However, no private
corporation would wish to admit of quotas
nor would one expect an increase in law-
suits if businesses responded as such.
One possible response to these argu-
ments accepts that quotas may result, but
argues at the same time those businesses
who create standards for the purpose of in-
vidious discrimination will be able to
escape prosecution because of the more
burdensome task of proof. In caricaturing
these arguments, Kosson's rhetoric does

not enable us to see the subtleties of the
issue nor the difficult choices before Carl
Pursell and Congress.
Eric Restuccia
First Year Law Student
MSA should require
quorum for big votes
To the Daily:
I submit a modest proposal which
would help the Michigan Student Assem-
bly avoid controversy about the relevance
to University students of its allocations of
funds. Many organizations require a quo-
rum in order for certain types of decisions
to be voted upon. Perhaps it is time for
the MSA to adopt such rule.
Had such a practice been in place over
the summer, MSA would not now possess
the dubious distinction of allowing a mere
18 percent of its membership (seven of 39
members) to represent the student body in
determining the MSA summer budget, nor
would the MSA president have been al-
lowed to embarrass herself by criticizing
the regents for the very type of behavior in
which she herself engaged.
It does not seem unreasonable to re-
quire that two-thirds or even a mere one-
half of MSA be present in order for bud-
getary allocations to be made. Hopefully,
such a requirement would ensure adequate
representation of the student body when
MSA decides to open its coffers.
Then again, as a non-University stu-
dent, I probably should keep my mouth
shut. After all, it's not my money being
spent; and who knows, maybe next sum-
mer MSA will pay for me to go to Israel.
Daniel Feigelson
Ann Arbor resident
Poor classroom shows
University's intent
To the Daily:
After hearing about the subject matter
to be presented in English 325, section
007, I was very excited. I had wanted to
take a writing course in the past but never
found the curriculum interesting. This
course interested me because it is the writ-
ings of oppressed peoples in Palestine,
South Africa, and Latin America.
By reading and analyzing pieces of re-
sistance literature from these regions, this
course would give students personal ac-
counts of oppression, while improving
their writing skills.
The room assigned to this course was
room 2525 East Engineering. When in
East Engineering I followed the sign and
walked down the corridor, but I couldn't
find the room. I knew I was in the right
building, the right hall and I was going in
the right direction, so there must have

been a computer error on my schedule.
I headed for the English Department to
ask for the correct room number. When I
opened the corridor door to go down the
stairs I saw a door with 2525 on it. I hesi-
tate to call what I saw behind the door a
classroom. I thought maybe it was a
broom closet, or one of Mr. Duderstadt'sa
dressing rooms (maybe the mansion
doesn't have enough closet space for him
and his wife?).
But this room had no clothes, and no
brooms, it had tables and chairs. Is it pos-
sible that this hidden little room with blue
walls is a classroom? Is it possible that it
was unintentional, that this course which
deals with the plight of people who the
United States government sees as not quite
human, wasn't really hidden away like:
Or was it the aim of the administration:
to put this course in a small, stuffy, noisy
room to disgust people, and make them.
less interested in unpopular, black-listed or
should I say red-listed movements?
No, I must be mistaken. Mr. Duder-
stadt and the regents have made an unques-
tionable commitment to make this cam-:@
pus a center of diversity. Or does the ad;,
ministration mean celebrate diversity with
anyone who agrees with you, and anyon4
who is generally apathetic?
Zeid Zalatimo
LSA junior
Domino's ads can be
misleading to buyers
To the Daily:g
This letter is to call attention to the re
cent deceptive advertising distributed by
the Ann Arbor Domino's Pizza. The ad
clearly states, "we accept competitors?:
coupons." The Central Campus Domino's *
Pizza, in fact, does not honor competitors
According to store manager Ray Allen,:
"any competitor's coupon is worth $1 off
our order." Realistically, while the stare
claims to "accept" coupons, it does not
"honor" them. The claim in this ad insin-w
uates that Domino's Pizza will match any
local competitor's price; this is not the
This unethical (if not illegal) false ad;
vertising should not be tolerated by stu--
dents. One might suggest to Domino's
Pizza that all future advertising should
clearly state the difference between
"accepting" and "honoring" coupons rather;
than trying to mislead the public with:
false claims.
Jeff Marx
Music School sophomore-,

More than words
Israeli decree further subjugates Palestinians

raeli occupation of the West Bank and
Gaza in 1967, politicians in Israel -
from Labor "moderates" to hawks -
have continually affirmed Israel's ex-
clusive right to the land and resources
of these territories, while vowing never
to cede an inch of the territories to their
actual owners: the Palestinians.
Recently, Israel's government-run
television station and radio networks
helped further this dangerous process
of denial by banning the use of Arabic
names for Palestinian villages, and
ordering both Palestinian and Israeli
journalists to refer to them by their bib-
lical Hebrew names.
The order does not simply represent
an innocuous "battle of words" waged
by members of Israeli's right-wing
government - as some commentators
have referred to it - but rather another
in a long series of planned steps in an
historic process which seeks to rid
Palestine of its historic Arab character
anyd subjugate the nearly two million
Palestinians who continue to live in the

military's policy of "might, beatings,
and blows," used against Palestinians
resisting attempts to preserve their his-
tory and culture.
The strategy to incorporate the oc-
cupied territories into Israel is well un-
der way, as Israel continues its policy
of land theft. Since 1967, the Israeli
government has expropriated 55 per-
cent of the West Bank and 33 percent
of Gaza and reserved it for the exclu-
sive use and benefit of Jewish settlers
and settlements. The exponential
growth in the number of settlements
has left thousands of Palestinian fami-
lies without their land, their homes,
and their villages. As a result, Pales-
tinian families have become refugees in
their own land, often with no other
choice but to relocate and take up resi-
dence in a tent in an over-populated
refugee camp.
What has been true of occupying
governments historically is true for Is-
rael today - in pursuing policies
which deny the existence and history of
the nennle thev nnnresc thev inctifv

C_- o go

LC ook grd, yog don t
be necdiu' a &BO..
For dis job

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