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October 14, 1998 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-14

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 14, 1998-- 3

LOCAL/S TATE

HIGHER
-EDUCATIONS
Graduate Student
Union threatens
strike at UCLA
The Student Association of Graduate
Employees, with the support of the
United Auto Workers, may go on strike
this . semester at the University of
California at Los Angeles, The Daily
Bruin reported.
On Oct 1, UCLA Chancellor Albert
Camesale received a letter threatening
a quarter strike if the chancellor refused
to honor the union's request for open
discussion about the university recog-
pnzirlg them as a formal union.
Eight of the UC campuses voted last
spring to approve a fall quarter strike of
teaching assistants and other student
employees with jobs in academics and
are part of the organization if the uni-
vertity does not recognize the union.
The last time these academic student
.employees went on strike was during
the 1996-97 school year.
Past strikes failed to convince the
"administration to change their position
n the matter.
The chancellor has not yet
announced whether he plans to meet
with the union leaders.
Magazine drops
UT-Austin ratings
BusinessWeek magazine lowered the
university of Texas-Austin Graduate
School of Business' rankings because
of a student memo that may have
*kewed student response to the a
l uinessWeek survey, The Daily Texan
reported.
The magazine issued surveys to stu-
dents at 61 business schools and 350
.,companies that recruit MBAs!
:Last year, a number of UT business
students released a memo informing
.the student body of the ranking proce-
dure. BusinessWeek officials claim the
nemo may have influenced students'
respgnses. The magazine, in response,
lowered the university's score on the
student section of the survey.
.The BusinessWeek rankings gave the
UTGraduate School of Business a cor-
porate ranking of 12 and a student
4ranking of 28, for an overall rank of 18.
The rating puts them up two spots from
1996 ranking, the last year the maga-
zine conducted the survey.
IJT officials claimed their rank
*Would have been higher if not for the
penalty.
Market has little
effect on Yale
endowments
This year's rankings will be pub-
shed in the magazine's Oct. 19 issue.
Yale University administrators
said recent changes in domestic and
international financial markets have
struck a blow to the university's $6
million endowment, which makes up
nearly 20 percent of the annual oper-
ating budget, The Yale Daily News
reported.
But Even though this year's oper-
ating budget will be $10 million
smaller than expected because of the
' ndowment losses this summer, the
iversity will experience a minimal
loss.
Oklahoma schools

aumong the
nation s cheapest
According to a study released by the
Digest of Education Statistics, students
wth 'attend Oklahoma universities paid
Sgss for college degrees than students in
any other state in the nation in 1996-97,
the Oklahoma Daily reported.
The study also showed that $170.8
million in scholarships and grants
was available to college students in
the state - a 4.7 percent increase
from the previous year and a 56.6
percent increase from 1990.
Regents from Oklahoma state
hgher education institutions said
they developed a long-term plan that
ill have student playing about one-
ird of their college costs.
The regents also said tuition at
state schools and universities in
)klahoma is at a lower.rate than the
rate of inflation.
-Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter
Susan T Port

MSA resolves to support Proposition 1

Members mixed on approval
of the bill, which would raise
county's property taxes
By Kelly O'Connor
Daily Staff Reporter
MSA passed a resolution last night to sup-
port Prop. 1, which will be on the Washtenaw
County election ballot Nov. 3.
If approved, the proposition would raise
Washtenaw County's property taxes by
approximately $26 per household yearly for

the next 10 years.
The money would be used to prevent what is
called "urban sprawl" - the development of
additional strip malls, sub-divisions and the
resulting traffic congestion.
Fifty percent of the money would be used by
Washtenaw County to purchase property
development rights from farmers, so that
farmers would no longer have the option to
sell their land to developers.
Additional money would be used to protect
open land and parks and to redevelop urban
areas.

Supporters of the proposal are hoping to
preserve a way of life that has existed in
Washtenaw County for a long time.
"Many of these farms are centennial farms
which means they have been in the farmer's
family for over 100 years," said SNRE senior
Kris Genovese, chair of MSA's Environmental
Issues Committee. "I'd rather see them here
than a strip mall or another Meijer."
Yet opponents say an economic issue is
being overlooked.
Property taxes will increase the cost of liv-
ing, which includes students' rent, said Jeff

Muir, campaign manager for Washtenaw
Citizens for Responsible Growth.
"The property tax increase will make it
more difficult for people to afford to move
from renting to owning a house." Muir said.
Also addressed at the meeting was the
appointment of speakers for the Two Days of
Action, a rally being held Oct. 21 and 22 by
the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by
Any Means Necessary.
Reps. Aaron Flagg, a Rackham graduate stu-
dent, and Bram Elias, an LSA junior, will
speak at the rally on behalf of MSA.

Tooting his own horn

Amway sues Procter &
Gamble over Websi'te

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -
Amway Corp. yesterday sued
Procter & Gamble Co., accusing the
Cincinnati company of using the
Internet to scare away its customers
and distributors in the latest twist of
an ongoing legal battle.
The federal lawsuit contends
Procter & Gamble paid consulting
fees and provided information to
Sidney Schwartz, the man it names
as the author of an Internet Web site
called "Amway: The Untold Story."
"P&G has encouraged, paid for
and otherwise assisted Schwartz'
dissemination of malicious attacks
against Amway with the intent of
interfering with Amway's prospec-
tive and actual business relation-
ships," the lawsuit states.
"As a direct and proximate result
of P&G's conduct, Amway has lost
sales and has been otherwise dam-
aged in an amount to be proven at
trial."
Ada-based Amway seeks compen-
satory damages, attorney fees and
punitive damages.
Amway lawyer Mike Mohr
declined to name a specific dollar
figure but said damages could run
into the millions.
Procter & Gamble spokesperson

Wendy Jacques said the company
has not fully reviewed the lawsuit
but considers the claim "ridiculous"
and an attempt to deflect attention
from two lawsuits it filed against
Amway.
"Based upon what we have seen
... this appears to be a desperation
suit as we advance both of our cases
against Arnway and its distributors
in Salt Lake City and Texas,"
Jacques said.
"We will seek to have it dis-
missed."
She said the company hired
Schwartz as a consultant in one of
its lawsuits against Amway, and he
is no longer on the company's pay-
roll.
Yesterday's lawsuit does not name
Schwartz as a defendant. The
"Amway: The Untold Story"
Website features testimonials from
unnamed people who accuse Amway
of "causing bankruptcy and
divorces," as well as tips on how to
rescue anyone who has "joined
Amway and is now a tape-spouting
zombie."
The lawsuit is the latest develop-
ment in a three-year legal battle
between the two companies.
In 1995, Procter & Gamble sued

an Amway distributor in Utah for a
voice-mail message it alleged linked
the company to satanism.
Procter & Gamble added Amway
Corp. as a defendant to the lawsuit
in 1996, contending the voice mail
was intended to hurt Procter &
Gamble's business.
Procter & Gamble filed a similar
lawsuit in Houston in 1997.
Both lawsuits still are pending.
Mohr, Amway's lawyer, said yes-
terdav's lawsuit is not about free
speech but about what he contends
were Procter & Gamble's deliberate
actions to damage Amway's business
by encouraging the dissemination of
information it knew would be used
misleadingly.
lie alleges the Internet Website
was part of larger efforts, including
deceptive news releases, that Procter
& Gamble has undertaken to blame
Amway for the satanism rumors that
have plagued it for years.
The lawsuit filed yesterday con-
tends Procter & Gamble provided
Schwartz with "boxes of docu-
ments". for his Website and "hired
attorneys in three different states to
try and thwart Amway's efforts to
get the truth about P&G and
Schwartz."

KELLY MCKINNELL/Dady
John Griffiths plays during a North American solo tuba tour sponsored by Yamaha
Canada. He was featured yesterday at the School of Music on North Campus.
Workersa at GM
plant pt est uSe of
Mexican labor

Fieger proposes insurance
ooi to cut medical costs

DETROIT (AP) - About 300
union members protested the use of
Mexican workers undergoing train-
ing at a General Motors Corp. test
assembly plant yesterday by picket-
ing in front of the factory.
That and other issues between GM
and United Auto Workers Local 594
have been simmering for several
months. The dispute comes as GM
and the UAW have said they want to
improve their weak relationship.
The workers protested before their
shifts and during lunch breaks at the
GM Validation Center. No work was
interrupted, local Vice President
Larry Trandell said.
The center is used to test assembly
plant equipment and train workers in
procedures for assembling new mod-
els before they go into production.
The Mexican workers are from GM's
Silao, Mexico, plant where a new
generation of GM's full-size sport
utility vehicles will be built.
Trandell said the Mexican workers,
who are not UAW members, are sup-
posed to be observing procedures,
but are performing hands-on work in
violation of the GM-UAW contract.
"We think it's a big safety hazard,"
he said. "They can't speak English,
and we have no documentation that
they have any of the safety training."
The workers help build prototype
vehicles and take what they learn
home to help set up new assembly
equipment and train workers at their
own plant. The intent is to discover
problems and validate the proper pro-

cedures early to provide for
smoother, faster launches of new
models.
GM spokesperson Dan Flores said
the work being done by the Mexican
workers is no different from that
done by visiting workers from other
GM plants in the United States.
"They are GM employees here
legally on GM business," he said.
"We maintain that those employees
are operating under the terms of the
local agreement, that there is no vio-
lation."
The UAW workers also are upset
over an order that they wear safety
glasses at all times in non-office
areas of the complex, including dur-
ing breaks. Trandell also charged that
GM was trying to change the griev-
ance procedure that has been in place
for 25 years..
Flores said the expanded safety
glass policy was an effort to protect
workers. "We've had a number of
serious eye injuries over the past
three years."
Workers at the Pontiac East truck
assembly plant, who also are repre-
sented by Local 594, went on strike
for three months last year. The main
issue was staffing levels.
After UAW members at two GM
parts plants in Flint went on strike
last summer, virtually shutting down
GM's North American production,
company and union leaders said they
would communicate regularly to set-
tle future disputes before they esca-
late to strikes.

WESTLAND, Mich. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial
candidate Geoffrey Fieger says he would create a state
health insurance pool to cut costs, and would toughen regu-
lation of insurers who now "own" Republican Gov. John
Engler.
Fieger unveiled his health care platform yesterday at a
news conference outside a Wayne County Health,
Department branch in this Detroit suburb.
"We all recognize there is a crisis in health care,' Fieger
said. "The crisis is not so much one of quality as it is one
of cost and access to quality treatment."
Fieger's three-point program calls for:
Passage of a "patient bill of rights." It would restrict
the ability of health insurers to impose medical treatment
decisions on doctors and patients, put mental health treat-
ment on par with other care and let patients sue health
insurers over treatment decisions.
® Creation of a state health insurance pool to buy
health care coverage in bulk. Individuals and employers
would pay a $10 membership fee. Fieger said the idea,
similar to the former state Accident Fund for worker's
compensation insurance, would cut premiums 25 percent
to 35 percent.
® Stricter state oversight of health insurers and
providers. Insurers would be required to pay out at least
80 percent of their premiums for health services. He
would increase the number of state inspectors and inves-
tigators for health care professionals.
Fieger accused Engler of gutting the state's mental
health system by closing state mental hospitals. He said
Engler has neglected public health and welfare while
serving private business interests.
"There is a corrupt relationship between the present
administration and the insurance industry," Fieger said.

"The insurance industry owns Mr. Engler."
Engler campaign spokesperson Maureen McNulty
called the charge unfounded and its maker unreliable.
"Geoff Fieger continues on a daily basis to make wild
and scurrilous charges ... and he is not held accountable
for his vitriol," McNulty said.
A state health insurance pool would expand state gov-
ernment and lead to the hiring of thousands of people,
McNulty said. And she said a state insurance pool would
unfairly compete with private insurers.
"It's another figment of Geoff Fieger's fevered imagi-
nation," she said.
As governor, Fieger said he would seek repeal of the
state certificate of need law for health care facilities. That
law stands in the way of free-standing outpatient centers
for surgery, child birth and other services, he said.
"Free-standing outpatient surgery centers are up to 50
percent less costly than hospital-based services, yet certifi-
cate of need rules prohibit their development," Fieger said.
The Engler campaign said Fieger's attack on the gover-
nor's health policies was hypocritical because of the harm
Fieger has caused medical care providers as a malpractice
lawyer.
McNulty cited a Feb. 9 letter from Fieger to the
Northeast Guidance Center in Detroit. Fieger demanded
that the nonprofit mental health agency pay up on a $6
million jury judgment in the death of a 9-year-old boy hit
by one of its vans.
"I will close down Northeast Guidance Center," Fieger
wrote. "I am not kidding. You had better have someone
come up with the money."
Fieger spokesperson June West said, "Geoff does have
an obligation to his client to make sure that when a judg-
ment is awarded, that they pay what the judge orders."

I..........

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