The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on August 31, 1975 · Page 3
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August 31, 1975

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 3

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Sunday, August 31, 1975
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4A/ DBS MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER • Aug. 31, 1975 'Brass tacks' issues behind dockworkers' stand on grain By GEORGE ANTHAN Of Tin Mtfttw'i WMMniten «urt« WASHINGTON, D.C. - Holding U.S. farm exports to Russia hostage is just the latest tactic in a campaign by longshoremen and maritime unions to win more government concessions (or American shipping Interests. Moves in the past have depended significantly on political muscle and major campaign contributions to key members ribution end a 125,000 loan, ther big donations went to Senators Robert Packwood Rep., Ore.), Daniel Inouye Dem., Hawaii), Thomas Eagle- on (Dem., Mo.) and Ernest lollings (Dem., S.C.). The bill was approved by Congress despite opposition from Departments of Agriculture, ommerce, Defense, Interior, ustice State, Transortation and Preasury as well as the Federal nergy Administration. of Congress. However, the maritime unions and industry suffered an unexpected defeat late last year when President Ford, in an eleventh hour move, vetoed a bill that would have forced oil importers to use more U.S. It had been estimated lie bill would have cost American consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in added costs. Grain Issue Now the unions have shifted emphasis to grain exports, demanding that the U.S. government refuse to sell wheat and corn to Russia unless the Soviets agree to ship more of the grain on American vessels. The maritime unions and industry also want the government to take a tough line in ongoing negotiations with the Russians over rates paid to American shippers, whose oper- - ating costs are the highest in ~the world. The maritime industry — la- ^bor and management — has wielded considerable influence : In Washington, where Congress 'regularly has-supported-direct subsidies of more than $500 million a year in recent years. More Than $6 Billion After the bill had been vetoed y Mr. Ford, Shannon J. Wall, resident of the National Mari- ime Union, wrote to the New r ork Times: "Your Insinuation hat 'a rising tide of cash' accounted for congressional pass- ge we consider an under- anded, irresponsible reflection n representatives and senators 'ho acted after the proposal ad been studied and debated or over two years." In May, 1972, a federal judge dismissed an indictment charg- ng Seafarers International Union' President Paul Hall and even other officers with viola- ions of the corrupt practices ct. The judge dropped the harge on ground the Justice Department under the Nixon administration had unaccountably delayed pressing the case. About three weeks later, the union borrowed $100,000 to make a contribution to the Nix- in campaign. Guilty Plea On Aug. 23, the American These federal payments, both for construction and operation, of U.S. merchant ships, have totaled some $6 billion since 1937. The maritime lobby — a coa- Jition of the unions, ship builders and ship operators — has been called by former maritime administrator Nicholas Johnson "one of Washington's most powerful subgovernments." The lobby has lavished considerable attention, and money, on Congress, which has on occasion voted to provide more money for maritime subsidies than the amount requested by the administration. In the past, members of Congress have been invited to speak at weekly luncheons sponsored by the maritime |Uew Shipping Bill unions, and have received fees reportedly ranging from $500 to $1,000. The battle over last year's bill to require that at least one- third of all oil imported into the U.S. be carried on American ships provides some Insights into the operation of the mari time lobby. $330,000 Into Campaigns * The maritime unions poured more than $330,000 Into the campaigns of members of Congress who supported the bill which would have created thousands of new jobs for union members. Congressional reports show that the unions contributed to 141 members of Congresss who supported the highly con troverslal legislation and l< four members who opposed it. The chairmen of the House and Senate merchant marine subcommittees which cleared the legislation r e c e I v e d the biggest contributions. Representative Frank Clarl (Dem., Pa-), chairman of thi HQUH unit, received $17,600 and Senator Russell Lonf (Dem.. La.), head of the Senate subcommittee, got $20,000. The third largest donation went to House Majority Leade Thomas P. O'Neill of Massa chuaetta, who received $16,000. Iowa Sematori Agilnit Bill Senator Dick Clark (Dem la.) received $5,000 in contribu tions from the maritime union in 1972, but voted against th bill Senator John Culver (Dem la.) received a $1,000 contribu tion in 1972 when he was member of the House? but he too, voted again* the measure Senator Jacob Javits (Rep N.Y.) returned an $8,500 con tribution two days before th Senate vote on Sept. 5, 197' and voted against the bill. Other recipients of major da nations from the maritime un ions included Senators Alia Cranston, Democrat of Cal fornia, $14,500; Howard Metzen baum, Democrat of Ohio, $13 000, and Warren Magnuso Democrat of Washington, $12 900. Magnuson, who sponsore the Senate version of the bil is chairman of the Commerce Committee, which has overall i jurisdiction over merchant ma-( rine matters. | Senator Mike Gravel (Dem.,; Alaska) received a $12,800 con-: tetter to Times nvestigating allegations that mgshoremen are engaged in a ractice known as "ghosting," i which union members are iaid for two or more jobs at ie same time. The current union boycott gaint loading grain bound for lussia isn't the first time the ongshoremen have objected to rade with the Communist na- on. During the Korean War, long- hor emen4n-NewJfork-ref used unload $3.3 million worth of lussian furs from two Finnish ihip Building Co. and its presi lent, George Steinbrenner III, leaded guilty to federal h a r g e s involving campaign und violations. Steinbrenner was fined vlO.OOO on a felony charge of onspiring to make illegal con- ributions to the campaigns of ormer President Nixon and everal Democrats, including enators Vance Hartke (Dem., nd.) and Hawaii's Inouye. 5teinbrenner also was fined 5,000 on a misdemeanor charge, nd the company was fined 10,000. Steinbrenner originally was •harged in a 14-count in- Jictment, but his guilty plea ollowed considerable bargain- ng. Inouye currently is a major igure in another attempt by he maritime industry to win government concessions. He has won Senate Commerce Committee approval of a )ill to enable American ship owners to use the Federal Maritime Commission to force foreign independent ship opera tors to put their freight rates up to or near the level o American rates. The bill is opposed by the State and Transportation de wtments, and there are es injates it would cost American consumers in the form of high er prices for a wide range of goods. Inouye first introduced his ihipping bill Oct. 12, 1973. Hi records show that on Apr. 14 1973, he had received a $10,00 contribution from the Seafarer Union political fund. Inouye next introduced the legislation last Feb. 27. Records show that Inouye received a $10,000 donation from the Mari time Engineers Benevolent As tociation July 18,1974. On both occasions, Inouye, as acting chairman of the Senate merchant marine subcom tnittee, held hearings on hi bills. Corruption Probe A federal grand jury in New ark, N.J., reportedly is looking, into allegations of corruption in the top echelons of the Nationa Maritime Union. In New Orleans, La., a loca anti-crime strike force fundec by the federal government is Goebel limited Edition Plate to Commemorate Ihi kVCentennul ol the United Stales ol America 17/61976. Entirely Hand-Painted mBasHeliel $45.00 See our large display ol Collector Plaits. Fijgrmes »nd GiHi Mail ordeis welcome. Muled prepaid Add 3% salei lai MAXIMl'S I/I I). 6579 Lniien,ily Pk. 276-7204 Moo. lfcwS.1. 1.1-5 ships. A fur broker testified to the New York State Crime commission, however, that the furs were promptly Unloaded after he paid $70,000 In bribe* to two union officials. U.S., Soviets recess grain shipment talk Talks between United States and Soviet negotiators were suspended Friday on a new rate to be paid to American shippers who carry grain to Russia. the action means that no American ship will carry any of the grain until sometime ler Sept. 9, when the talks resume in Moscow. "Top Priority" U.S. officials say they expect a shipping rate to be a "top priority" during these negotiations. Meanwhile, a federal Judge in New Orleans, La., refused Saturday to order longshoremen to load grain on a Soviet-bound ship. He said no order was needed yet because a "strike had not.been called. Jodie Opines "Until a strike actually occurs, I see no reason to issue a restraining order," U.S. Dist. Judge Alvin Rubin told shippers. "Come see me when you have heard." The New Orleans Steamship Association had asked for a re- straining order based on what they called threats of a strike by local officials of the International Longshoremen's Association."" 7 " Meany backsstrike by longshoremen WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - AFL-Cio President George Meany, defending the union boycott of grain shipments to the Soviet Union, says the United States shottld use IU farm surpluses as a diplomatic weapon, much as the Arab na- ions use oil exports. "The question is, are we going to allow the Soviet Union to manipulate our grain market to the detriment of the American consumer?" Meany said. "Why should we?" Earn up to on your investment '0 plus tax shelter. Wesfbn Homes oparfments make moniy for you .., faster, If you have between $10,000 and J$ 12,000 you can own a high income- producing Weston 4-unit apartment. Erection in a rhatter of week*, not months, cuts interim financing costs. 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