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': t j j COMPUTER MARKETS Continued from 1-llh 1-llh 1-llh Page put on, it will mean fewer jobs for our members," Edwards concedes. "But we are also concerned about our customers in the stores. ' "Without price tags that a customer can read, how will the shopper know if the computer is charging a price ritffprpnt frnm the chplf nrireJ "Many people want to add the costs in their shopping cart so they can see if they have enough money to pay the cashier, but without individual tags the only way they can do this is to memorize or write down the prices marked on the shelves." And, he argues, "customers who see a special in one part of the store would have no way of comparing that price with the price of another brand except again to keep charts of .their own as they move down the aisles." Management maintains those prob lems do not affect most customers ' and that their own surveys indicate consumers would rather save money than pay for the cost of price tags. At Lucky's San Leandro store, customers customers often bring in pencils or pens to mark their own prices on the items as a means of keeping track of the costs. Consumer resistance to the new system would probably collapse if management agreed to continue putting putting price tags on each item. But that would still leave unresolved unresolved the question of how to divide the anticipated savings, an issue complicated complicated by the vast differences in profitability of the various companies Some chains are already making substantial profits but others are los-' los-' los-' ing money. Edwards argues that "unions have traditionally and correctedly argued The battle is joined The computers are on their way. that we cannot set different wage scales for each company depending on their rate of profit "If all companies pay the same basic wage scale, then the reason why one 'is making good profits and another losing is due to their managerial techniques, not the wage rates." This means that, despite the differences differences in profitability, the unions are going to push this year for a method of sharing the expected gains from the new computerized system. The automated systems are made by IBM, National Cash Register, Sperry Univac and other computer companies, but all are essentially the same. Each system uses the Universal Product Code which was first adopted adopted in May, 1973, to identify the make and size of the items in the store. The UPC usually is printed on the labels by the manufacturers. John Robertson, Ralphs vice president president who is in charge of installing the system for that chain, cautions that the system is still in the experimental experimental stage, but if it works as ex-.pected, ex-.pected, ex-.pected, the entire nation will reap substantial gains. The Retail Clerks' Edwards agrees, but adds that the "greed of some companies makes it both urgent and obvious that both unions and consumer consumer groups must join forces to assure the gains are divided among all of us." The battle is joined. The computers are on their way. The near future will spell out the details of their use and the method of distributing their advantages. Ford to Speak at Yale From Reuters WASHINGTON President Ford will speak April 25 at the 150th annual annual convocationat dinner of the Yale law.school in New Haven, Conn, the White House announced Thursday.