Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on September 1, 1974 · Page 9
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 9

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 1, 1974
Page 9
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JAssigned To Monotonous Assembly Lines Northwest Arkansas TiMES, Sun., Sept. 1, 1974 · TM^ETTEVIL1.E, ARKftNSAS 'Blue Collar Blues' Plague Many Workers LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) Beyond the chain link fence and acres of yellow-lined parking lots, the fastest, most automated automobile assembly ne line in the world stood silent and unmoving. Dan Dearing and a half dozen other men were picketing the east gate of the plant. But the picketing was casual. Dearing, in fact, sat on the hood of his car, talking quielly in the warm summer "night. ' ' L o o k , 1 ' he explained earnestly, "I got a house now, a house and a mortgage and a baby. It makes a difference. I didn't have them two years ago. Besides, being hotheaded iver got us anything either." Two years ago in March, Local 1112 of the United Auto Workers struck Lordstown's General Motors complex of Chevrolet van and Vega plants. It was a militant, attention- grabbing strike. On the table were local grievances and contract language. But sociologists said the problem was much deeper -- a phenomenon they ailed the "blue collar blues." Now, this July 12, about 7,800 members of Local 1112 went on trike again. Grievances were ack on the table. But the atti- Albuquerque Sends Policemen Undercover As Drunks, Hippies ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. (AP) -- They didn't look l i k e cops Not the drunk who stumbled from bar to bar nor the hippie nor the old man with a bandaged foot who hobbled about on a crutch. But all are Albuquerque policemen who stalked the downtown area recently in hopes of being robbed. Police officials credit the special detail with capturing 14 strong-arm robbery suspects in the two weeks it was on the street. "We had officers made up to appear as old drunk men, Indians and long - haired individuals in an effort to cut down on a projected rise in strong-arm robberies in the downtown area," said a member of the detail. "Many of the persons that were caught still don't realize they robbed a cop," said Lt. John Nelson. He said many of the robbers refused to believe their victim was a policeman even after being shown identification. Each of the undercover policemen carried a radio and a pistol. Generally, they remained in sight : of backup officers, although on one occasion a decoy officer was assaultec and robbed before assisting officers were even In position. "We hadn't even had chance to set it up and we wer£ lit," one of the officers said. One of the two robbnrs got away. "We are not showing mon ve are not dangling it in front of anyone and wo are not try- ng to entice anyone," Nelson said. "Our men are disguised to fit the profile of the typical victim of an armed robery in that area." Nelson said the disguised po .ice officers make much better court witnesses than a real victim. "We have had a hard time Celling strong-arm robbery vic- :ims to give us accurate cle scriptions." he said, "If they rob policemen we have fewer problems with prosecution." Grasinger To Resign TUCKER. Ark. CAP) -- Jack T. Grasinger plans to resign his positions with the state Correc tion Department Sept. 10 to be come superintendent of a Neu Mexico state prison honor farm at Los Lunas. Grasinger has served as ad ministrative assistant in the Ar kansas Correction Department administrator for pardons am paroles and supervisior of the school program at Tucker In termediate Reformatory. He was employed on emergency basis to succeed a superintendent who resigned The honor farm is a minimum security facility. blues" -- the monotony of as- embly line work and the de- umanizing effects of the pace et by machines -- had turned nto concern about the economy and job security. And the militancy? "Back in '72," said Dan tearing, 27-year-old relief man n the body shop on an assem- )ly line that makes Vegas, 'people were saying "the hell vith the company. Let's change hings. Let's walk out and 1 e t hem steam for a while,' "Now guys are more worriet 1 about their jobs. The way the economy is you have to be. Besides, a lot of men laid off then But because it average workc udes and atmosphere liangcd. Talk about had the stretching. Automatic welders and other machines took over some of the more difficult or delicate jobs, was fast, the tiad -- and still has -- 35 seconds to perform his task as the line moved inexorably forward. The workers on the line were young, mod and militant, long haired and little awed by management, the work ethic or its discipline. In October, 1971, GM removed the Chevrolet Division and Fisher Body management that had run the plant. T h e General Motors Assembly Division -- the. G-MADs workers was sent the The vere never called back. I think t scared a lot of people." Like many Lordstown workers now, Dearing says he can ivc with his job. There are pct- y harassmenls to put up with, ut the pay and benefits are Jood, and that seems the major consideration to most. Assem- )ly line workers make $5.50 an lour, maybe $12,000 a year with a little overtime. "As far as the boredom and monotony thing, I don't think that will ever change," Dearing said. "I don't have that problem, not on my job. The rest of the people, maybe they just resigned themselves to it." Lordstown is near the eastern end of the Cleveland-Youtrg- stown industrial axis in northeastern Ohio. Its GM complex spreads over 975 acres next to the Ohio Turnpike. The workers are largely second generation industrial workers -- sons and daughters of Mahoning Valley steel workers -- or first generation off the farm. There are 550 women and about 1,1000 minority employes, mostly black about the same percentages as in 1972. The trouble at Lordstown began after a high speed Vega assembly line was installed 1970. It was the assembly line of the future: 100 cars an hour, 40 more than other lines. It was designed to make work easier. It moved un and down to reduce bending and new management ordered reductions in the work force. Too much work per m a n , said the union. Some cars began coming down the line with internal engine parts stacked on top of the motor block. Olh er cars came through will-, slashed electrical cables anc cracked instrument panels. Sabotage, said .management. In the months before the 197i strike, there were often many as 1,800 cars in pair yard at the Vega plant Day after day, the line was shut down a f t e r one or two lours because the repair yan was full. When the 1972 strike finally came it was settled in thrci weeks and few people in the un ion say they got much out of it But the shutdowns for repair didn't happen this year. Before this year's strike, there were seldom more than 20 cars i; the repair yard, said Joh Grix, GMAD's public relaton nanager at the plant. It is an unfounded fear, sail. Grix, but many workers ar concerned that repetition of th 1972 tactics "would cause GM t pull Vega Lordstown. Vega plant in Canada late 1072 and soon will be producin Vegas at South Gate, Calif. Sunday Crossword Puzzle By JO PAQUIN ACROSS IDull discomfort 5 Descendant 10 Court decree IS Persian ruler 19 Presently 20 French aunt 21 Gleamed 22 Actor Calhoun 23 Church 25 Unable to go out 27 Overhead railways 28 Dagger 29 Character In "Gun- smoke" 31 Dancer's skirt 32 Bishopric S3 Kefauver S5 Shore S7 Uncanny 39 Sent a message 41 More callow 43 Blush 46 Love affair 47 Ancient Greek city 48. Cebine monkeys 50 Popular singer 51 Regan's father 52 Overt 53 Rodents 55 Spartan queen 56 Permit 51 Lurks 59 Gospel author 61 French salt 62 Chemical element 64 Word in Psalms 66 Lord's chief manor 68 Hebrew Jetter 69 French lace 70 Humor 71 German philologist 75 Evil spirit 77 American colonial governor 81 Spanish gold 82 Fabulous sea monster 84 Disposition 8« Poem 87 Praise 89 Agitated state 90 High hills 91 Wrinkle 92 Letters DOWN 41 Secluded 79 Garden 94 Afresh 1 Tennis valley tool 96 European star 42 Moroccan 80 Englisii bunting 2 Self- coin author 97 Founded possessed 44 Prussian 83 Cows 98 Conchs 3 Certain seaport (dial) 100 Arrange- domiciles 45 English 85 Ripped ment of 4 Abstract author 88 Take out troops being 47 Heroic in 91 Rant 102 Harsh 5 Bombed? scale 93 Drudge 103 Resources 6 Barrooms 49 Boss 95 Furniture 105 Claw 7 Author of 52 Twist, piece 106 Dried Picnic et aL 96 Invests orchid 8 Indian 54 Barbecue 97 Downward tubers 9 Donkeys aids from 107 Turku 10 Refuse 57 Nonsense 99 Pries 109 Ballot receptacles · creature nosily 111 Make lace '11 Greek . 58 Hills o£ 101 High note 112 Edible letter Rome 102 Most wise starch 12 Put to 59 Drawing 104 Minute 113 Siamese flight room groove com 13 Follow 60 Mr. Zola 10$ The black 116 Company 14 Seesaw 63 French buck paper 15 Sign of season 107 Melville's 119 Kitchen hit play 65 Arabic Captain utensils, 16 Domestic letter 108 Femur, etc. attire 67 Common for one 122 Handle 17 Man's name abbr. 110 Minced 12S Musical 18 Irish poet 71 Shoe parts oath instrument 24 Animal fat 72 Coarse, 112 Genus of 124 Arabian 26 Lab heavy linen sea Satan apparatus 125 Gudrun's 30 Undivided husband 34 Traduce 328 Sugar 35 Imbibes source 36 Fireside 127 Egyptian 38 Baal, for VIP one 128 Point of 39 Lily view 40 Moham- p reduction out GM did o p e n There have been other Ganges at Lordslown, too. Ac- rdim; to company records, 'seiplinary lay offs declined more than 500 in the nontli before the 1972 strike to bout ioo in the month before «s ycur's walkout. Fender hangers and motor iwunt m e n m a y c o m p l a i n motil arbitrary discipline and nfair foremen, but fewer are iw willing to risk going out ic door for a day, a week or a lonth without pay. Amj the Lordstown work oi'ce has turned 30. The aver- KC age of the workers was 29.1 i 1072. It was 31.4 years last amiary. Again and again, ompaiiy and union officials iml Hie workers themselves about wives, children anc mortgage payments. "liight now, a lot of these icople are so establishmeni are unbelievable," sale 5m. "We got a lot of guys ou here with long hair and moc clothes. But even that guy, he niight be saying, L f don't buy vnur lifestyle,' but he's willing o work for us." NO IMPROVEMENT Wurkcrs' conditions on the inc have not improved since 1972, says Ford. "As a matter of fact, they are maybe a liltl worse." It is not that peopli don't feel something has to h done about it, he said, but thej a r e going about it in differen ivays. The absentee rate has risei from 8 per cent in 1971 to 10. per cent in 1973 to 12.7 per cen in June, 1074. Sometimes 10 per cent of th work force misses Monday and Fridays. Many of those who do pune in every day have their ow ways of coping. On the picke line or in bars a few m i l e s away, it is easy to find aut workers who tell of going work stoned on alcohol or mar juana. Workers might not be an lappier a t Lordstown t h e s e ays, but they are more in 'ined to file a grievance than rganizc a protest. Before the 1972 strike, mem ers of Local 1112 had filed 6, MO grievances over work slant irds. discipline, health an afely condilions and othe nailers covered by their con racl. There were 10,000 griev anccs on file when they slruc' his July. BENEFIT CHECKS There were more motorcycle ban Vegas in the parking lo when, this August, L o c a 1 111 members came in lo pick u t h e i r weekly strike benefi checks -- $40 maximum for married worker with two chi dren. Bob Hunt got $30. He is 2 and single and wore whi double knit slacks and dar Jasses. He is a relief operate on the Vega line and insists o working exactly according the contract. "I've been lossed out of tl plant umpteen times just b cause I stick by the book, 1 per cent b ythe book," he c: plained. "I just want people slick up for what they believ is right. "Some day, I want to see I union defeat management said Hunt. "1 don't mean storn thtm on the ground. All I mer is going in to work and n being a number, a robot, piece of machinery." TERMITES? CALL ADMIRAL PEST CONTROL Roaches, Ants, Spiders, etc - COMMERCIAL ft. RESIDENT!Al,' · 442-7298 129 Actor Robert medan noble (var.) 73 Small birds rodent 114 A tissue 74 Frog genusllS Chinese 75 Discover dynasty 76 Temper- 117 Posed ance 118 Miscellany crusader 120 Plane 77 Ives rectangle 78 An extend- (abbr.) ed enter- 131 Swiss tainment river Average time of solution: 61 minutes. lit 82 104 Answer on Page 13B ia,»*Xtt i. Bonus Offer 3-Pc. International Silverplate Serving Set A Regular 18.75 Value At No Cost To You! Bonus Set consists of 9" long serving spoon, lOVi" long casserole server, and 8M" long serving fork. Lovely "Interlude" pattern. Yours with the purchase of $20 or more. For a Limited Time Only Choose A Beautiful Silver Baker And The Serving Is On Us . . . Each of these quality International silver serving pieces lets you cook and serve direct from oven to table with minimum fuss and maximum elegance. Remember the 3 piece serving set Is our gift to you with the purchase of 320 or more! A. Round Warmer With. ^ Qt. Pyrex Liner 39.50 B. 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