MMT 22 Jan 61 Pg 12
h te$H m nm! M -...i. -...i. a are Mary and Annette Butchino, of the neighborhood children park. of Organizing of Farm Expected The Agricultural Workers Organizing committee of the AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFL-CIO probably will not come to Oregon for some time, Joe Bianco, agricultural editor for the Oregonian told a meeting meeting of the Jackson County Fruit Growers league nere Friday afternoon. Bianco said much of his information information comes from the California California Growers' council and some from Louis Krainock, AWOC's publicity man. During the 18 months AWOC has been in operation it has not been able to form a local. A month ago, Krainock reported AWOC "is having trouble." It had only 3,500 to 5,000 migrant workers organized organized and was reported in financial financial trouble. Several weeks later the growers council confirmed confirmed this report. Shortly after Krainock's talk with the Oregonian writer, writer, he was reported ill and unable unable to attend the Oregon Hor ticultural Society meeting at which he was scheduled to speak. This indicated some dif ficulty within the organization, organization, Bianco said. Political Climate Unchanged Bianco said he does not think the California political climate which favors the AWOC operation has changed. Now the United Packinghouse Packinghouse Workers' association has joined forces with AWOC. On Jan. 5, a meeting of some top union officials such as Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers' union, union, and the president of the United Chemical and Oil union, union, met in Washington, D.C. An unofficial report indicates AWOC was voted $300,000 in additional funds, Bianco said. UPWA is a strong estab lished union with 20,000 members members at one time. With closure of some meat packing-houses packing-houses packing-houses the membership dropped to 5,000, the Oregonian writer said. Bianco said he learned through a press association reation program for a city, which, two years ago, had no real program at all. He credits not only the city for these accomplishments but also "the of other in State at that UPWA is now trying to penetrate Yakima, Wash, fruit growing areas. UPWA and AWOC will help each other so that both packing-house packing-house packing-house and field workers will be organized, organized, the farm editor told fruit growers. "The most important thing is to study the labor situation the best you can, then try to plan and tell your story to the people," Bianco advised the growers Friday, "and have courage." UPWA and AWOC want the following, Bianco said (1) Recognition of the union as a collective bargaining agent. (2) Minimum wage for field workers of $1.25. UPWA wants piece rates for field packing lettuce. AWOC wants piece rate incentives on sKinea work. (3) Establishment of sanitary facilities, including toilets and drinkable water. (4) Ten minute rest periods every two hours. (5) Transpor tation to and from day haul points. (6) Close shop provid ing for employment of all workers in a union hiring hall similar to what the Longshoremen Longshoremen now use. Establish Themselves "If AWOC and UPWA are able to establish themselves as bargaining agents. . .you may see the inauguration of the six major goals," the agricultural editor pointed out. The California growers feel their problem points directly to the California department of employment, Bianco said "When the farmers found the department of employ ment could offer no aid to a farmer surrounded by picket lines. . .the farmer developed his own referral service. According According to the Wagner-Peyser Wagner-Peyser Wagner-Peyser act, the state employment agency, which does receive federal aid, cannot refer workers to an area that has a labor dispute. The referral service in some eases involves Mexican nationals. Borrows Workers "Early this week in El Cen- Cen- tro, Calif., one of the lettuce farmers, whose ranch was struck by AWOC and UPWA, borrowed Mexican workers al located to a nearby farm be cause his farm was struck. However, the U. S. and Mexican Mexican governments ordered the braceros off the ranch for the duration of what the govern ments call labor unrest. Some proposed "pro-labor" "pro-labor" "pro-labor" laws now before the California California legislature at Sacramento are worrying growers. A proposed proposed minimum wage bill for agriculture would set the min imum hourly wage at $1.25 per hour. However, some bills favor ing agriculture are being introduced. introduced. The "strikes at har vest time" measure is aimed at preventing strikes when the crop is to be harvested. State Employment Director Irving Perluss is reported to have said this will not pass unless labor s position is considered. considered. Another bill would prevent "stranger picketing" where AWOC men work in an or chard for a few hour then strike for higher pay. They are not regular migrant workers. workers. Bianco explained. Interested In Organizing In answer to questions, Bi anco pointed out that AWOC is mainly interested in organizing organizing 2 million migrant work ers, iney have been given two Labor Not This Time years in which to do it by the AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFL-CIO organization. Money to support AWOC activities activities comes from all AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFL-CIO union members' dues. During the first year AWOC spent $300,000. UPWA is not as strong as it once was, but does provide a strong framework framework by joining AWOC, Bianco Bianco said. The fact that the Medford pear district pays top wages will not deter union activities, Bianco s,aid. He advised growers growers to consider the "check off" plan in their strategy. According According to this plan, the union would require employers to deduct union dues from wages paid. One local grower said he didn't think the AWOC could operate effectively without the plan. Charles Henry, outgoing league president, advised all local growers to use the Medford Medford Pear Shippers office for an information clearing house on all labor problems. Ho urged all growers with ideas to attend the league's committee committee meetings and present their ideas. 59 Disease Cases Reported in Area A total of 59 cases of communicable communicable diseases were reported reported to the Jackson county health department last week, according to Dr. A. Erin Merkel, Merkel, public health physician. Influenza headed the list with 10 cases in Phoenix and six in both Medford and Ashland. Ashland. Medford also had one case each of mumps, measles and infectious hepatitis, and two cases of chicken pox. Ashland Ashland reported two cases o mumps," one pneumonia, one case of German measles, and two chicken pox victims. Phoenix had two cases of mumps, eight strep throat, and one poliomyelitis. Central Point reported one case o both measles and German measles, and one chicken pox; case. Six' cases of chicken pox were reported at Jacksonville. Rogue River had one case o pink eye. Three scarlet fever cases were reported in Talent. Bonanza, Ore., in Klamath county, reported one case o infectious hepatitis, and Myrtle Myrtle Creek, in Douglas county, reported one case of rheumatic rheumatic fever. Army Reserve Unit Contributes to Area One hundred and seventy members of the United States Army reserve units in Medford Medford contribute a substantial amount to the local economy, according to figures announced announced by Major Ray E. Stewart, Medford subsector commander. commander. During the taxable year of 1960, local reservists received, after federal income tax deductions, deductions, the sum of $67,508.-53. $67,508.-53. $67,508.-53. The pay to members of the Army reserve was gained through attendance at regularly regularly scheduled drill assemblies, assemblies, and for periods of active duty. The pay is additional income to many men engaged in varied vocations in this area.