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October 16, 1948 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-10-16

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THlE MICHITGAN WTY

W7 ATIJEDAY, OtTOBR1 16, 1949

Labor Education
, cBy HARRIETT FRIEDMAN
The University's Workers Educational Service, suspended tem-
porarily by the Board of Regents last month, is coming up for a
"do or die" decision in the Board meeting today.
Suspension of the service pending investigation of "marxist
bias charges by a General Motors economist last May has 'v
aroused vigorous protests from labor unions and community lead-
ers.
But despite the clamor on both sides, few people seem to know ts'
* just what this service has done since its founding in 1944.
-' ~It was to fill this gap in knowledge that the following survey;
article on WES was written:

pit
u
k

* *

*

SEVEN of the more than 200,000 workers who have used the Workers Extension Service, join with
an instructor in a workshop in community relations. Such workshops were part of a general
five-point program to help workers to "know the score."
* *, * *
PROGRAM APPROVED:
Governor, Professors Comment on WES

With the news that Gov. Kim
Sigler has recommended reinstate-
ment of the Workers' Educational
Service, opinion in the State
seemed yesterday to be moving to-
wardunanimous support of the
courses.
Gov. Sigler told a group of Pon-
tiac CIO leaders that he is "against
any abridgement of freedom of
education that does not involve
teaching of foreign or subversive
ideologies." He said he had asked
the Regents for resumption of the
classes, according to a Detroit
Free Press report.
AT THE. University, Prof. Z.
Clark Dickinson of the economics
department said in reply to The
Daily's request for a statement:
" . .The activities of this
Service have attracted very fa-
vorable nation-wide . attention
from experts in the field, and
their interruption due to various
misunderstandings has been a
real misfortune.
"The movement as a whole is
still young .and experimental and
very poorly financed. It is handi-
capped, moreover, by the highly
controversial nature of labor-
management and labor-govern-
ment relationships.
"Organized labor feels, with
much reason, that other interest

groups such as agriculture, bus-
iness and the professions have
benefitted much more than la-
bor by educational expenditures
from public funds.
"Individual workers shrink from
much of our present system of
continuing education from lack of
confidence in the attitudes of the
teachers and suitability of courses'
to their needs, as well as out of
diffidence concerning their own
deficiencies of preparation.
A TEACHER in WES comment-
ed: "The workers' initial dislike
for theory fades away when they
can understand and apply econo-
mic theory to their own practical
situations. At the same time those
who are suspicious of 'the aca-
demic approach' discover that uni-
versities can offer them valuable
knowledge.
"Last spring, for example,
when many unions were putting
on drives for higher wages,
workers wanted to know whether
they were contributing to infla-
tion. They didn't want to be told
something soothing-they want-
ed to know whether they were
right or wrong."
Prof. Wesley H. Maurer, acting
head of the journalism depart-
ment, declared:,
"The Workers' education

courses are a constructive serv-
ice by this University, not only
to workers but to the entire pop-
ulation of Michigan.
"Any educational service that
provides information to such a co-
hesive group as labor is a contribu-
tion to all other groups because
nothingris so fraught with danger
as a group with power that is
ignorant of its function and that
lacks competence to discharge its
responsibilities.
S * *
WORKERS NEED to know, for
instance, how meetings are con-
ducted. If they do not know this
they can easily be duped by those
who want to use the power of or-
ganized labor for selfish ends.
Communists, for instance, are
generally opposed to workers'
education conducted by a state
university because Communists
are well schooled in how to
conduct meetings. This has been,
in many instances, their special
advantage.
Die-hard, reactionary leaders in
the labor movement are not in-
terested in workers' education be-
cause it gives the rank-and-file
information that tends to lessen
the power of such leaders.
IT IS A COMPLIMENT to the
University and it is a credit to the
workers in the state that more
than25,000 workers sought more
information about their life, affil-
iation, and work.
Of course we want these courses
to be taught by competent teach-
ers, but once we have selected the
teachers for their competence we
should not require they teach in
an atmosphere of petty, biased,
fault finding. The subject matter
is not that exact. A good deal
of leeway should be, in my opin-
ion, permitted. Who knows the
whole truth about economic mat-
ters?"
STATE DRUG COMPANY
Photographic Department
Party Picture Service
900 SOUTH STATE ST.
Phone 4344

WHEN FEDERALLY subsidized workers education was proposed in
Congress last year, it was natural that the University of Michi-
gan service should serve as an example for the plan.
Although 78 other institutions of higher education provide
labor education, the University's Workers Educational Service was
started in 1944 as a unique service. It attempted "mass education."
Whereas other schools served only selected labor leaders, or tried
to develop good trade unionists or general good labor relations, the
University program was keyed to reaching as many workers as possi-
ble. More than 200,000 workers used the program during its four years.
According to Director Arthur Elder, "Workers need much in the
way of education to place them on a par with the other 'groups in so-
ciety with whom they must deal."
"As the areas covered by collective bargaining become more
complex, as the functions performed by unions expand, and as
labor takes more and more part in community affairs, it becomes
increasingly important for workers to "know the score'," he said.
He viewed the WES as aiding workers to cope with day to day
problems in relation both to the union and the community.
s * *
1 ACHIEVE this end, the WES offered class and discussion groups;
lectures and film forums; conferences and institutes;~radio broad-
casts and plays; and consultant services.
In an attempt to "meet the workers where they are and
serve their needs directly," classes were held principally in
Union Halls and YMCA's.
Subject matter was fitted to the demands and needs of the work-
ers.
Typical classes covered collective bargaining, labor legislation,
health and safety, social philosophies, labor journalism, social secur-
ity and parliamentary procedure, but the list of proposed topics num-
bered more than 30.
* * * *
CLASSES were built on free discussion and informal, active partici-
pation. As a result, instructors were enthusiastic about the eager-
ness of their worker students, according to Director Elder.
In a class in Social Philosophies, workers studied and dis-
cussed fascism, communism, capitalism, socialism and liberal de-
mocracy, and the ideas behind them. They learned what scien-
tists and philosophers had to say about social and economic prob-
lems.
Objections were raised at one point to the "workers only" tag on
the program, but officials answered that workers would be inhibited
from freely talking if they felt that men of superior education were
present.
TUITION was set at $2 for a six week class of 2 hours each week.
Main cost of the service was paid by the University, which has
been providing complete support since 1946, when the original state
legislature appropriation ran out.
WES staff workers also aided unions in setting up their own
educational programs.
It was Director Elder's idea that eventually unions themselves
should provide such courses as collective bargaining and union coun-
seling. Then the WES could concentrate on basic courses "that help
workers to understand the economy and the society in which they
must function."
IN ADDITION to these services and such workshops as radio, drama,
publicity and photography, special institutes and programs were
arranged by WES in conjunction with unions.
The Taft-Hartley Act, time study and production standards
and union procedurereceived close study during the United Steel-
workers Institute held here this summer.
A. K. Stevens, who supervised the Institute, views such activities
merely as counterparts to similar services offered companies by the
Business Administration School.
Altogether, about 60 Michigan towns took advantage of "spot"
lectures by instructors, or film forums or discussion programs.
Teachers for WES were recruited, as needed, from various
backgrounds. Some were college or public school instructors; oth-
ers were experienced union men; still others had special experi-
ence in such fields as radio and journalism.
About 30 part-time instructors were used. The full-time staff
numbered only five, including Director Elder.
* * * *
THE WORKERS Education Service operated as part of the Univer-
sity Extension Service under Director E. J. Soop, but had two
separate advisory committees.
One was a state group with two representatives each from
the University, the public and workers. The other was a six-man
faculty committee, composed of University professors, who advised
on course content and instructors.
Workers' education by universities began in 1921 at Bryn Mawr
College. Programs at the University of Wisconsin, Yale, Harvard and
other schools soon followed.
A National American Labor Education Service now operates in
Washington, planning extension of such program.
- - - - - -- -i-

v

WORKSHOPS in effective speech were given as part of the six-week CIO- summer Camp Institute,
in which WES instructors presented material for the workers to "hash over" and also helped to
plan the basic program of lectures and discussions.
* * * *

TIME OFF FOR THOUGHT:
WES Assisted CIO Summer Institute

Planning six-weeks summer va-
cation of learning and recreation
for workers was one of the many
jobs taken on by Workers Educa-
tional Service leaders.
WES has assisted the Michigan
CIO Council in its annual six-
week program of Institutes in
Leadership Training during the
past four years.
ICHIGAN unionists who
worked in shops and offices
were elected by their local unions
for one or two week scholarships
at the Institute.
Interested people from col-
leges and communities, includ-
ing some from abroad, also at-
tended the camp to get a better
understanding of the labor
movement.
WES furnished instructors, lec-

turers and resource people for the
classes, lectures, workshops and
discussion groups which were held
at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt
CIO Center near Port Huron.
* * *
ALTHOUGH the WES person-
nel were responsible for the
presentation of basic subject mat-
ter and material in classes, union
resource men presented material
relating to the current union pro-
gram.
Attempting to embrace both
theory and practice, the Institutes
offered a wide variety of subject
matter from which workers could
choose specialized studies of their
choice.
Students selected one of sev-
eral subjects offered each week,
and confined their week's ac-
tivities to it.

Economics, Legislative Prob-
lems, Collective Bargaining Un-
ion Administration, Jouirnalism,
Public Relations, Time Study, Ed-
ucatidnal Leadership were in-
cluded.
* * *
PRACTICAL training in the use
and application of this knowl-
edge to union and community sit-
uation was provided by the work-
shops.
Current problems such as
'Economic Policy, Atomic En-
ergy, Legislation, Inter-Group
problems and Inter-Racial Rela-
tions were discussed during eve-
ning sessions.
In addition, workers enjoyed
social and sports .recreation, and
cultural activities such as music,
drama, handicraft and art proj-
ects.

11 II

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TYPEWRITERS
Office and Portable Models
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STATIONERY & SUPPLIES
0. D. MORRILL
314 South State St.
0. I. Requisitions Accepted

LUTHERAN STUDENT ASSOCIATION
For National Lutheran Council Students
1304 Hill Street
henry O. Yoder, Pastor
8:30- 9:00 A.M.-Breakfast at the Student
Center.
9:10-10:Q0 A.M.-Bible Hour at the Center.
10:30 A.M.-Worship Services in Zion and
Trinity Churches.
5:30 P.M.--L.S.A. Meeting in Zion Parish
Hall. Student Talent Program.
Tuesday. 7:30-8:30 P.M.-Discussion Group
at the Center.
Wednesday, 4:00-5:30 P.M.-Tea and Coffee
Hour at the Center.
Morning Devotions-7:35-7:55 A.M.-Tuesday
~ and Friday at the Center.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
512 East Huron
Rev. C. H. Loucks, Minister
Ro)ev Williams Guild House
502 Ea:;t Huron
10:00 A.M.-Bible Study Class. Study of the
teachings of Jesus.
11:00 A.M.-Morning Worship. Sermon "Plan
Your Life," by Rev. Loucks.
6:00-8:00 P.M.-Guild Program. Rev. Henry
Yoder will speak on "The Church of
Faith" (Lutheran).
UNIVERSITY LUTHERAN CHAPEL
AND STUDENT CENTER
1511 Washtenaw Ave.
Alfred Scheips, Pastor
(The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod)
Saturday, 4:15 P.M.-Open House after the
Game.
9 :45and 11:00 A.M.- Identical services, with
the pastor preaching on "The Bible's
Abiding Value."
5:30 P.M.-Supper Meeting of Gamma Delta,
Lutheran Student Club.
Thursday, 4:00 P.M.-Coffee Hour.
FIRST METHODIST CHURCH
Ministers: James Brett Kenna and
Erland J. Wang
Music: Lester McCoy, director
Mary McCall Stubbins, organist
Student Activities: Doris Reed, associate
director.
10:45 A.M.: Worship Service. Dr. Kenna's
sermon topic: "Life's Assurances."
5:30 P.M.: Wesleyan Guild. Rev. John H.
Burt will discuss "Personal Growth." Sup-
per and fellowship will follow.
GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Corner State and Huron
Harold J. DeVries, Pastor
9:15 A.M.--"Your Radio Choir" WPAG.
10:00 and 12:00 A.M.-Bible Schools.
11:00 A.M.-"Christian, Awake!" Di Homer
Hammontree.
6:30 P.M.-Grace Bible Guild Supper.
7:30 P.M.-Worship Service. "Sin's Wages-
God's Gift."

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
1432 Washtenaw Avenue
W. P. Lemon, W. H. Henderson, Ministers
Maynard Klein, Director of Music
9:30 A.M.-Westminster Guild Bible Class
10:45 A.M.-Morning Worship. Sermon by
Dr: Lemon "Life's Thoroughfares,"
5:30 P.M.-Westminster Guild supper. Reg-
ular meeting at 6:30 P.M. Program:
"Christianity on the Campus" with a panel
of student leaders. Phil Culbertson, Presi-
dent of SRA; Joanne Smith, Danforth
Fellow; Jackie Reid, League Council and
Bill Miller, Student Legislature.
MEMORIAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH
(Disciples of Christ)
Hill and Tappan
F. E. Zendt, Minister to the Congregation.
Howard Farrar, Choir Director
9:40 A.M. - Student Bible Class at the
Church.
10:45 A.M.-Morning Worship. Nursery for
children during the service.
GUILD HOUSE, 438 Maynard Street
H. L. Pickerill, Minister to Students
Jean Garee, Assistant in Student Work
6:00 P.M. Supper at the Congregational
Church. Wym Price and Will Kyselka,
members of the Guild, will relate their
summer experiences in Europe.
ST. ANDREW'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Division at Catherine
8:00 A.M.: Holy Communion
9:00 A.M.: Holy Communion (followed by
Student Breakfast, Canterbury House)
9:45 A.M.: Junior Church Confirmation
Class
11:00 A.M.: Morning Prayer. Sermon by the
Rev. Robert Tourigney.
11:00 A.M.: Junior Church
12:15 P.M.: After-Service Fellowship
4:30 P.M.: Student Confirmation Class
5:30 P.M.: Canterbury Club Supper and
Program. Mr. Samuel Jacobs will speak
on "A Christian Approach to Industrial
Relations."
8:00 P.M.: Evening Prayer. Sermon by the
Rev. John Burt.
Tuesday, 7:00 P.M.: Seminar on "Gospel of
Mark," Canterbury House
Wednesday, 7:15 A.M.: Holy Communion
(followed by Student Breakfast, Canter-
bury House).
Thursday, 4:30 P.M.: Student Confirmation
Class, Canterbury House
Friday, 4:00 to 6:00 P.M.: Open House, Can-
terbury House
Saturday, 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M.: "Work Party"
to groom grounds, Canterbury House
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
State and William Streets
Minister-Rev. Leonard A. Parr, D.D.
Direc. Student Work-Rev. H. L. Pickerill
Assistant-Miss Jean Garee
Director of Music-Wayne Dunlap
Organist-J. B Strickland
9:30 A.M.-Intermediate Department Sun-

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Come in and consult us about any of your
banking problems.
ANN Annon BANK

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