Quad-City Times from Davenport, Iowa on January 29, 1987 · 3
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Quad-City Times from Davenport, Iowa · 3

Davenport, Iowa
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 29, 1987
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'huttie anniversary touches students9 hearts Their school is named for fallen astronaut Grissom ft L f By Cherl Bustos QUAD-CITY TIMES The students at Virgil "Gus" Grissom Elementary School in Princeton, Iowa, felt a personal loss when school teacher Christa McAuliffe and six other astronauts were killed in the Challenger explosion a year ago Wednesday. After all, the students at that Scott County school go to class in a building named after an astronaut who died in a tragic fire aboard a space capsule 20 years ago Tuesday. Here's what happened on Day 1 58, the day that Deere & Co. and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement. There were good signs as early as 8 a.m. Tuesday. Negotiators for the company and the union including Thomas Cooney of Deere and Jim Hecker of the UAW were seen walking into the Deere office building in downtown Moline. An hour later, Hecker emerges and announces that the union would meet in the afternoon to decide whether to reopen full-scale negotiations with B Noon: Chief UAW negotiator Bill Casstevens arrives at the Quad-City Airport, then heads to downtown Moline. B Casstevens meets with the other members of the union's bargaining committee for about three hours at the union's temporary headquarters in Moline. Then, with a few other UAW officials, the union officials trek down the alley to the Deere building on 19th Street, telling reporters, "The committee has some questions, and we're going to try to get the answers." B Nearly two hours later, the rest of the negotiating committee walks from their headquarters to the Deere building in apparent response to a summons by Casstevens. At 8:10 p.m., after just more than an hour of face-to-face talks, applause is heard in the conference room on the first floor of the Deere building where union bargainers are settled. Moments later, Casstevens leaves the building and announces the tentative agreement. By Karl Oxnevad QUAD-CfTY TIMES The five-month Deere & Co. strike meant a loss to the Quad-City economy of roughly $90 million in income and spending that workers would have generated during that time, a local economist said Wednesday. But some economists said that a portion of that buying power Expert: S Usery: Proposed contract is Continued from Page 1 ment, then getting them together," said Herb Fishgold, a longtime associate of Usery's. "He has a large ego, but he's able to put it aside and let others have theirs," said Fishgold. But it's his doggedness that pays off. "He's tireless an inordinate amount of energy," Fishgold said. After Hanson's request, Usery ran marathon negotiating meetings in Detroit, some lasting 34 to 35 hours without stop. Then the meetings moved to Moline and Usery kept up the subtle pressure. "There were enough wrongs to go around, and some rights," he said, waving a thick right hand in the air as he spoke Wednesday. "You have to spend a lot of time with both sides to learn their positions." The results were worth it. B Nation recalls Challenger disaster Page 5 And although many schools let Wednesday pass without much mention of the tragic explosion, at Gus Grissom school, a special assembly was held in honor of the Challenger crew. All 275 students ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade, have been asked to write their feelings on the subject: "Risk Taking How it Shaped Our Past and Will Enhance Our Future." The students shared some of their readings at the assem Workers By Rae Dixon QUAD-CITY TIMES Delores Parker's husband collected aluminum cans and sold scrap parts from old cars to get a little extra money to help them get by during the Deere-UAW labor dispute. For her part, Delores did her grocery shopping at the Salvation Army food pantry, and learned to cook with powdered milk and rice. Delores' husband, Jim, is employed at the Deere Foundry in East Moline. He, like thousands of other Deere workers, has been off the job and without a paycheck for five months. "I'm thrilled to death they're going back to work," Delores said Wednesday from her Hampton No need for strike shack trike cos would have been lost anyway even without the strike, because Deere would have had to make massive layoffs due to high inventories and a struggling farm economy. The 5,735 hourly Deere employees working at Quad-City plants at the time of the strike would have earned about $59 million during the length of the strike, after taxes. And those dollars would have generated about an- Once the two sides officially reopened negotiations, the coffee was barely poured before the tentative agreement was reached in 75 minutes. Usery couldn't elaborate on the tentative contract, but he called it "a good settlement for the company and a very good settlement for the union." The Caterpillar, Inc., contract reached last year "was used as a basis for settlement," he said. Usery likes to keep a low profile and remain the quiet mover behind the headlines. His sucesses speak for themselves. He mediated the first players' strike against the National Football League, two U.S. postal strikes, the Chicago schools' strike during a sleepless two-day marathon session in 1984, the independent truckers strike in 1976 and ' i, -" ! .. AtHr4 bly. "We want to see something positive come out of this tragedy," said school Principal John Langen-han. This is an opportunity for our kids to think about the (shuttle explosion and Gus Grissom's death) and see that whenever you want to try something progressive, you have to subject yourself to risk and danger." He said the students' essays will be put together for a class book that future students will be able to look back on. Here are a few samples of the writings that were presented at SOT 'A lot of people are going to think twice about saving.' home. She does not work outside the home, so her husband's paycheck is what pays all their bills. When the strike started, the couple immediately got rid of the extras, such as their cable television service, and started to cut back on expenditures. With the $100-a-week strike' pay and money they had saved, they were able to pay their utility bills and home mortgage, she said. THEY DID fall behind on ....- : : 5 : : . Thls abandoned strike shack at 14th Street and 3rd Avenue In Moline, and the "on strike" signs stuffed In the fence, testify to the tentative agreement reached Tuesday that could end the Deere & Co. labor dispute. (Times photo by Brent Hanson) t Q-C $90 other $31 million in earnings for other local businesses, said William Conway, a professor of economics at Augustana College in Rock Island. But economists said a loss to the economy of that size would have happened anyway, because Deere probably would have had to idle large numbers of workers. "Demand for their products has been so low that without the a good one helped set up the delicate joint operating venture among General Motors, Toyota and the UAW. Usery got involved with the labor movement after World War II. As an hourly worker near Macon, Ga., he helped organize a local of the International Association of Machinists. His gift for getting people to agree was quickly evident and his career took off. He represented machinists and aerospace workers at the Kennedy Space Center during the first decade of the space program. In 1968, President Richard Nixon named Usery an assistant U.S. secretary of labor. President Gerald Ford plucked Usery from his three-year position as director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in 1976 and named him U.S. Labor Secretary. Wednesday's assembly: Jaime Louck, 5th grade: Mrs. Christa McAuliffe just didn't go up in space for the heck of it. She went up in space to help kids and even adults learn about what space is like. If I were Christa's family, I would be mighty proud. Adrienne Bradley, 4th grade: Most people think going into space is as easy as pie. It isn't. We take many risks when we send a shuttle into space. The nation was watching as Christa McAuliffe and the other astronauts perished. These deaths have d vive payments for a motor home, but she thinks they will be able to keep the vehicle if her husband gets back to work soon. Tuesday's announcement of a tentative settlement between Deere and the UAW comes at a critical time for Delores and her husband. "We didn't want to get food stamps, but if it didn't come to this point, we might have had to," she said. Lonnie Horn, Davenport, said his family has been able to hang on during the strike because his wife works and because they had a considerable amount of money saved. Horn, who has worked at Deere's Davenport Works for 12 years, has been caring for his son, s - S Si ( ? i t A. v million strike, there would have had to have been massive layoffs," said George Cloos, an economics adviser with the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago. "So whether there was a strike or layoffs, it wouldn't have made any difference." Although workers who were on layoff would have been able to collect unemployment compensation, Cloos said the effect would have been about the same. n Mike and Teresa James Dean 1 ' "T Jaime Louck Laurel shaped our whole lives. Laurel Strohm, 5th grade: Christa McAuliffe. was a very brave person. Other people have taken risks too such as Ben QUAD-CITY TIMES who used to go to a baby-sitter. Though he is bitter about the strike, Horn said it has given him time to spend with his recently adopted son. Don Aird of Davenport said he was expecting the strike so he had started building up his savings. "I PUT away money just in case it would happen," Aird said. "The money was supposed to be for a vacation, but I had to use it on this instead." He said his family has had to cut back on extras and had a lean Christmas, but they haven't had to ask for help with food or bills. "It's been rough, but my wife works so that helps," he said. Aird hard Dealers are happy but fear price hike By Scott Grau QUAD-CITY TIMES Deere industrial equipment dealers say they're glad to see the union and company reach a tentative agreement, but remain concerned that the impact of the strike will be felt long after everyone goes back to work. "It will take five to 10 years to get those customers back, and then you may never get them back,' said Larry Johnson, sales manager for Pineland Tractor's industrial equipment division in Jacksonville, Fla. The strike has been particularly hard on Deere's industrial equipment dealers because demand for that kind of product has been strong in the Southeast and Southwest, where construction is booming. The strike and lockout closed access to new equipment, leaving dealers scurrying for inventory and spare parts. "It's been very time-consuming," said Marvin Dole, managing partner with Empire Tractor & Equipment Co., Newark, Calif. "Our employees spent countless hours on the telephone trying to find parts. It had a tendency to slow us down." DEMAND for construction equipment has been good, he said, but it's a very competitive market and it's tough to show a good profit, and the strike made it even tougher. But he said he won't be so happy about the agreement if he now have an excuse to be and Marilyn Monroe. Strohm Adrlenee Bradley Franklin. By discovering electricity, he could have been electrocuted but instead it was a success. So you see, risks have played a big part in our lives. Thursday, Jan. 29, 1987 3. tried to find another job butj hadn't had any luck in the Quad-! Cities or out of the area. Aird, who works at the Daven-y port Works, said workers will feelv the effects of this strike for a long'i time. t People who weren't able to- make payments on loans during? the strike are going to have to struggle to make back-payments i when they go back to work, he said. And people may change their; spending habits out of fear a long j strike could happen again. j t "A lot of people are going tof think twice about saving. A lot of ; people are going to start putting it away to prepare for the next one," he said.. Stock rises a bit t. Investors and buyers traded 3 575,500 shares of Deere & Co.-stock Wednesday, the day after av tentative agreement was reached , between the company and United' Auto Workers. ; The price of the stock closed,'; at $26.50 a share on the New Yorkv Stock Exchange, an increase of "; of one point. ; finds out that it drives up costs. "We don't need this today. We ' need to retain jobs in the United . States, not drive them overseas," he said. Johnson said his dealership "( had stocked up on inventory be- " fore the strike, but lost sales as:-, customers couldn't get the equip- ment they wanted from Deere and ? went to competitors. J "Naturally our initial reaction to the agreement is overjoyed. We can finally get back to some nor- malcy," Johnson said. "Every- thing has been drying up and it's- hurt. Sure it has." Jim Woods, sales manager for . Furrow Machinery Corp. in Chattanooga, Tenn., said his dealership has weathered the strike by selling more used equipment that--it picked up at auctions. "ITS been tight, but we've been making it. Our customers know how to survive. The strikers really did us a favor because you can make more money on used equipment than new." Deere ready to advance Continued from Page 1 to Deere's whopping $229 million loss last year. But the company has made progress during the year in its restructuring. The company accomplished these things:1 It lowered its break-even point at its factories. B Lowered its troublesome dealer inventories. It has begun eliminating more than 3 million square feet of excess manufacturing and distributing floor space. Added -100 dealers to its profitable consumer products division. And set up a $42 million capital investment plan for it Horicon, Wis., Works, its main consumer-products manufacturing plant.

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