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July 28, 1983 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1983-07-28

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, July 28, 1983 - Page 3

'U' service
ratify new
After working for two months without
a contract, the University's service and
a maintenance workers ratified a new
contract Tuesday night that will give
them a slight raise.
Members of Local 1583 of the
American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
voted to accept the agreement which
was worked out by the union and
University officials last Wednesday.
The one-year contract will increase
salaries by four percent, or 25 cents per
hour, whichever is greater.
The union has been working under an
extension of their old contract since it
expired May 20.
When negotiations hetween the union
and the University stalled last week,
state mediator Edmund Phillips, was
brought in, and the two sides arrived at
a contract five hours after Phillips'
Some members of Local 1583 said
they would have liked a larger raise,
but feel that the new contract is
probably the heat they could get.
Kevin Lunsford, a service worker in
the Natural Sciences Building, said that
after rumors of no raise at all, the small
increase was a pleasant surprise.
"I thought we were kind of lucky to
get that after they said we were going to
get nothing," Lunsford said.
Lunsford said there has been some
talk of a strike, but he didn't think now
is the time. "I couldn't afford a strike,"
he said.
Not all workers were as satisfied as
Lunford, however, One stockkeeper at
University Stores, who asked to remain
anonymous, said she knew of at least 30
people who had voted against the con-
She said she didn't think the increase
in wages would cover recent union dues

Firemen go through maneuvers during a session of the Basic Firemanship Training Program held at North Campus
yesterday. The week-long program stresses "hands on" training for the twenty participants.
Firemen sharpen skill1s
As he came out of the smoking building, Nelson admitted
By ROBERT SCHWAR TZ it was hot, but he said there isn't much to fear.
The North Campus building was full of ashes, smoke, and "THERE ARE some good instructors, they won't let
a hidden body. And as for visibility, one fireman said "you nothin' happen to you," he said.
can barely see your own hand." The University offers six training programs for firemen
Fire fighters luggirg 25-pound air tanks held onto each and others concerned with fire safety, through its exten-
other's boots as they crawled through the rubble to try and sion services.
save what was left. In this week's session, the Basic Firemanship Training
BUT HEROIC rescue attempts are routine in this Program, trainees learn about different types of fires and
charred building and the man in distress never dies. It's how to extinguish them. It's a short walk from the
the University's Fire Training Center, which has trained classroom to the burn site off Plymouth Road, where
fire fighters in the fine points of expecting the unexpected smoldering hay fills the building with smoke, and wood
since the early '50s. scraps and oil make a small inferno.
This week's crew of trainees shows the wide variety of Before they even reach the "burn site," trainees are
people who come to the program. The inexperienced dripping with sweat. Each one carries about 70 pounds of
Shawn Knight, 17, said he came because he is "into fire- equipment, including rubber boots, fire-proof jackets and
fighting." Others, such as Dan Nelson, a 24-year-old pants, hard hats, and air tanks. As they enter the
paramedic, come to "tune-up" skills they already have. See NOVICE, Page 7

Shop owner turns leather into quick cash

"I'm an antique," says 34-year-old Bill Conn, owner
of the Mule Skinner leather shop. "The only way I can
get people to notice me is to be a little bit of a charac-
But flashy is not Conn's style. Sitting next door to a
laundromat at 611 S. Forest, The Mule Skinner is an
old-fashioned business and Conn is one of the few
hand leather crafters left in the state.
CUSTOMER'S orders are written on stray pieces of
paper and Conn doesn't even own a cash register.
With only the skill of his hands and a few tools, Conn
supplies prominentDetroit auto executives with
custom-made brief cases and he has even made a
leash for a seven-foot iguana.
"I'm more than just belts and wallets," says Conn
surrounded by the sweet, strong smell of leather in
his shop. Although he makes the standard leather
goods such as handbags, sandals, and moccasins,
Conn bassa taste for the bizarre.
A recent issue of Car&Driver magazine featured a
leather radar detector holster which Conn made and
a few daring Ann Arbor women bronze in the sun

wearing one of Conn's hand-crafted leather bikinis.
BUT CUSTOM-made leatherwork comes with a
high price tag. Sandals, Conns most popular item,
can cost up to $75. The high costs Conn saysare partly
because leather prices sky-rocketed about five years
Sandals 10 years ago sold for only $17, he says.
For most customers, however, the hand-made
quality is worth the higher price tag. "If you use good
quality leather, and good quality craftsmanship,
you've got your money's worth," he says.
GOOD QUALITY is Conn's- main strategy for
fighting the stiff competition from companies selling
machine-made leather items. But even the best
machines can't imitate the personal attention Conn
gives his work, he says.
"I can't compete with price," he says. "I can com-
pete with quality."
For simpler items such as wallets, however, Conn
says he uses machine stitching. Few customers are
willing to shell out extra cash for hand-stitching on
small pieces.
See HAND-MADE, Page5

c oDnn
quality makes up for prices

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