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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 11, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THt LETHBRlDGE HERALD Augutt 1973 Railway unions have good wage case By Dun syndicated commentator Mixed reception The federal government's recent announcement of willingness to ne- gotiate native land claims has been received with satisfaction by the na- tive dismay by at least one provincial and what can only amount to relief by most other Canadians. Native people will feel that finally the government is being responsive in a positive way to their concerns. For too long it has seemed to them that the government has acted uni- without really entering into dialogue with them. The agreement to is itself an important concession. More impor- the willingness to negotiate native land claims comes to the nub of a persistent grievance on the part of the native people. The government announcement ap- parently caught B.C. Premier Dave Barrett by however. He says at uas not advised let alone consulted in advance about the provinces being expected to share in whatever compensation might be necessary as a result of negotiation of native land claims. Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien says B.C. had been repeatedly ap- proached on the matter but had not replied. Exchanging one standoff for another might seem to mean zero but the federal government can go a long way in negotiation even without the co-operation of pro- vincial governments. Most Canadians will be relieved that the government has decided to negotiate rather than seek court judg- ments. It is an embarrassment to the descendants of aggressive ancestors who acquired legBl' right to tend by virtue of possession that the In- dians should be denied access to rights in a similar way. of cannot be re- versed. But compensation can be made and negotiation is the right way to go about it. Not a day to celebrate It is the business of historians to keep humanity's accounts to try to ensure that we know or think that we know when impor- tant events who was involv- ed in how they turned out and what effects they had. Important to this accounting process is the fixing of dates dates on which certain things were dates when signifi- cant happenings began or dates that can be finally and then enshrined in text-books to be memorized by scholars and school-boys. August may turn out to be such a date. Some time ago the U.S. Congress set August as the absolute deadline by which U.S. bombing of Cambodia must cease. Though Presi- dent Nixon bitterly opposed this de- it is not anticipated in Wash- ington or elsewhere that he will ig- nore it and continue the bombing. It is that August 15 will mark the end of the bombing of and that finally overt U.S. military action in Indochina will be at an end. of that there isn't another clan- destine war going on Future American historians will scarcely be able to ignore the longest and most bizarre of all Am- erica's however tempted they may be to do so. They will have to decide on some date on which to say it and on the facts if they Weekend Meditation are facts the world has been given so August could very well be that date. It is not a date anyone is likely to celebrate. The Cambodian people will be relieved that bombs no longer rain from the sky but somehow one doubts they or their descendants will mark the anniversary with joyous festivities. The South Vietnamese can hardly be expected to rejoice at the further withdrawal of their last and greatest while their Northern adversaries undoubtedly hope and plan to celebrate anotrfcr still hi the that on which they finally their southern neighbors. If August 15 is not to be a day of celebration in it is even less such a day for Americans. Much as the American people may be thankful for an end to a long and bitter there has been too much too much disillusion- ment associated with for there to be any dancing in the now or in the years to come. And if the future brings the complete Communist takeover of Indochina that most of the world to the agony and disillusionment there will be added an hollow sense of utter fuility. It is the sort of ending that brings to mind Elliott's desolate phrase not with a but a The neverceasing struggle and gardens are trouble- some things. They will not remain but insist on growing and becoming disor- derly. You must keep at clip- and weeding. Just like a woman's it's no sooner done than it has to be done all over again. L. S. Woolf in a most terrifying The Village in the tells how the jungle ever so slowly and re- crept up on the village and finally overwhelmed the last hut and its tone survivor. But less spectacularly you can see this same war of nature in the de- eerted farm lands and houses of abandoned towns. Once you cease to nature will destroy you. Chesterton in his pithy way expressed you want to keep a white post white you have to keep painting it This is just as true in the intellectual and spiritual life as it is in the physical world. There must be unremitting atten- tion to spiritual and intellectual life or the jungle will overwhelm it. In the rush of the in the business and noise of the great ideals become smothered and die. Sometimes they seem like a unreal and long ago. Like the professor who said be put Ms faith in a closet and years later looked for but it was gone. One neglects to to read the to meditate on great to seek out high and to keep the spirit of wor- ship. Life becomes seculariazed as these gracious habits are lost. I the fir trees dark and I used to think their shining tops were close against the sky. It was a childish Ignor- but now 'tis little joy To know I'm farther off from heaven Than when I was a Countless men in their boyhood had fine motives and noble but life has corroded them. If one does not cul- tivate and cherish the things of the if one does not exercise faith until it becomes a living conviction and enthus- if one does not nourish the finest powers and feelings of life by systematic culture and diligent they will fall victim to the desert and the jungle. Is not the skepticism and unbelief of our times simply in large part the result of inatten- tion and the gradual immersion in the distractions of Vanity How sad it is to have the spiritual and mental sensitivity to lose the ap- preciation of the things that are and to be so caught in the meshes of making a living that one fails to live and make a and to let the whole moral vigor become flabby and weak. How tragic to sec a life full of promise gradually become a prey to de- and impurity. your heart with all for out of it are the is- sues of 0 whatever I may lose in grant that I may not lose my soul. F. S. M. Overdoing the golf By Dong Walker I got a couple of signals recently that I might be overdoing the golf thing. Maybe I'm not playing too just writing about it too often. I'm taking stock of the situation after what was said on two different occasions. when I dropped in at the J and L store with Elspeth for an ice cream cone Lea Wildman neglecting Els- peth' these days all we read about is I didn't know whether he thought I should spend more time walking Elspeth over to hia store for ice cream cones or If he wag mining the iBumiaating I tell about her. At any rate I felt a little rebuke about the golf. The real clout came in however. There I was sitting solemnly waiting for the Jim Fletcher Debbie Rae wedding to commence when Niels Kloppenborg tapp- ed me on the shoulder and you think you can forget the little ball for a half To tell the there are tunes when I'm tempted to give up the game but not because of Lw Wildman or Niels KJop- paoborg. MONTREAL Since the ro- tating strikes began almost three weeks most public attention has been directed to- ward the confrontation rather than the issues. Since the frontation must eventually either in settlement or in legis- it might be useful to re- view some of the issues that have lead to the present situa- tion. the most pressing issue is that of wages. The un- ions originally asked for a 15 per cent increase for each of 'the next two years. The rail- ways have said they cannot af- ford it. CN has pointed out that if such an increase were grant- it would run at an increas- ed deficit that the taxpayers would ultimately subsidize. a conciliation made up of a company a union nominee and a hae submitted its re- port. All the including that of the union have suggested settlements far short U.S. labor adopts policy of restraint By Paul Herald Washington commentator WASHINGTON Labor un- crippling infla- tionary wage demands and set- tlements have been front page news in Canada this summer. here in tihe United States despite the highest peace- time inflation in the modern history of the have shown a remarkable re- straint in accepting modest wage increases. What is tine reason for this extraordinary contrast be- tween organized labor in the two Can it and will it Now that America's biggest the has sign- ed with the American trucking most of this year's major labor contracts have been negotiated and the pat- tern of wage settlements seems to be definitely estab- lished. It is uniformly moder- ate. The Teamsters' contract calls for annual increases in wages and benefits of only 6.1 per cent. This is well in line with the other new contracts in such major fields as oil and the garment where Letters Overdue editorial The recent was prop- erly critical of the Lethbridge Police Force but somewhat overdue. I have attempted on several occasions over the past two years to alert our citizentry to sinister developments occur- ring in our police department. This recent seminar on ter- rorism and extremism is by no means the first FBI seminar given in Lethbridge Certain members of the de- partment apply more force than is particularly when handling native people. This is not to deny that Lethbridge does not have many fine police officers. It certainly does and my own contact with most has been pleasant and encour- aging. I am neither Indian nor poor. I have wit- nessed hostility and totality in certain officers which was tot- ally out of proportion to the sit- uation. This is undoubtedly tied to several violent and sick personalities who would be criminals if they couldn't be policemen con- fusion on their part between the world of-big crime repre- sented on TV and in the inches with the world of in and the influ- ence of the FBI who use much more drastic measures than are necessary in a less violent Can- ada. I feel strongly that the force should be more closely scrutin- ized by our local police com- mission. It would also help if the commission membership were to be expanded to repre- sent the minorities who are the special targets of the force natives and Canadian police forces should not be taking lessons from Am- erican FBI agents. Even the necessity of our force carrying loaded revolvers is open for debate. Lethbridge really doesn't need armed guards and the weapons now serve only to bolster the ego of the psycho- paths on the force as well as to stand as a barrier between ev- ery policeman and every citi- zen he talks to. We all get ner- vous when the other guy has a gun. My own partly paranoid fear of the force has not allowed me to sign my name on any let- ter sent to this paper over the last two years. It is well known among many aware people ticularly that the police keep a blacklist of those who speak out or involve them- selves in controversial mat- ters. Surely the crumbling of the American dream has taught us what the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said 5000 years more laws and order are made the more thieves and robbers there will Lethbridge A town to study A recent news item informed us that the University of Leth- bridge is considering a study to determine what causes some small towns to go ahead whQe others are retrogressing. I suggest that the research- ers make a particular study of Foremost. I recently attended its 60th anniversary celebration and observed what civic pride and capable leadership ceo accomp- lish. T last saw Foremost in the early years of the Second World War and could hardly believe what I recently saw. Beautiful new new new public buildings have changed the entire picture and reflect the progressive outlook of the people. I am proud lo be considered a Foremoster in absentia. R. L. BRUCE Calgary wage increases have ranged from six to seven per all pretty close to the U.S. govern- ment's guidelines. But why this unusual re- straint when the cost of living in the U.S. is Most of the contracts were negotiated in the second quarter of when the Consumer Price Index was shooting up at an annual rate of 8.7 per cent. Arthur a highly re- garded economist at the Brookings Institution says. is no question that labor has gotten the short end of the stick in the last six although it has not necessarily been by Dr. Okun is a former chair- man of the White House Coun- cil of Economic Advisers. Many explanations have been offered for the serenity of the American labor front. But the one which sems to get most to the heart of the mat- ter is that American unions are recovering from the wage binge that went on during the late 1960s. Before the new Teamsters paid by the hour were averaging an while those paid by the mile were getting 12.5 cents a mile. That means that many truck drivers were already earning between and a year. That put them on a par with a lot of construction work- until the imposition of wage-price controls here in were getting wages high- er by 15 per cent or more. Although few union leaders will admit it Presi- dent Nixon's decision to im- pose controls was a godsend to them. During the years leading up to the the rank and file of many en- couraged by ambitious candi- dates for union made life hell for the established labor leaders. Workers regularly rejected settlements negotiated by their no matter how plush they were. The fearing the loss of their were forced to go back and fight for still better often with success. The controls broke this and gave union execu- tives a breathing spell. While denouncing publicly President Nixon's wage many labor leaders like AFL-CIO President George Meany know they would be in serious trouble with their constituents if the current guidelines were entirely abandoned. There is a begrudging ac- ceptance that wage increases unrelated to increases in ductivity add up simply to more and that in- dustry in the U.S. can no long- er absorb the huge contract settlements that were possible during the boom years of the Vietnam war. The last thing the labor leaders is to be put on the spot once more by an sky-ifthe- limit rank and many labor ex- perts agree that the current labor peace in the United States is only slightly more stable than the peace pact in Vietnam. Should acute infla- tion despite the mod- erating effect of Phase American union members may begin to echo the inflated wage demands of Canadian workers. The stark contrast between the tranquil labor climate in the United States and the inflationary wage set- tlements and disruption of es- sential services in Canada this summer has little to do with the magnanimity of American unionists. Canadian labor lead- ers not only cannot pacify their constituents by pointing to wage price they know that few of their de- mands are likely to be checked by a government which de- pends for its existence on the union-financed New Democra- tic party. BERRY'S WORLD of the unions original demands. The unions' demands are based on three factors. They want a cost of living increase which will allow them to do no more than maintain their liv- ing standards. No one disagrees with the principle that wage in- creases should be paid In real dollars that have not been erod- ed by inflation. They also want their fair share of the annual growth hi the economy. And they want a bit more to allow them to catch up from past years of falling behind the general wage increases of com- parable workers. At today's inflation the unions could with some justifi- cation ask for an eight per cent increase to cover living costs. That's what the inflation rate has based on th last six months. They have asked for 5.4 per cent. No including the rail- disputes the principle that if the national pie grows everyone is entitled to an increased piece of the roughly in proportion to how much the pie itself grows. According to most ecor.c-mic including the govern- ment's the economy should grow by about seven per cent this year. The unions could therefore ask for a seven per cent increase as their share of the growth in the economy. They have asked for just over three per cent. The only seriously contested wage issue is the third element of the union's claim. They claim they have been falling behind other workers in wage increases. The companies dis- agree. The evidence suggests that the unions have a better case. Their argument hinges on the fact that the railway labor force is substantially smaller than it was a decade and that most of the people whose jobs have been lost to technology are those who are among the low- est paid. Thus even if there had been no wages increases at average hourly earnings would have gone up simply because the people left are more highly paid than the people let go. This apparent improvment in wages is therefore more illusory than and the unions arc ask- ing for an additional increase in order to allow them to catch up to the wage gains of work- ers in other industries. In economic If the .unions get their minimum in- crease of 10.8 per it will more than make up for the pay they will have lost because of the strike. If the strike goes whatever the settle- it will be eaten up by lost pay. The unions have no strike fund because they never ex- pect their strikes to be allow- ed to last. Much of the wild- catting results from many wor- kers now wanting to bring the whole situation to a head. With inflation running at eight per cent national ductivity at seven per an 11 per cent wage boost does not seem excessive. ttTI ky what is your feeling about on Ota ootortoty that has befallen some of the of the The Lethbridge Herald _____ M 7th SL Alberta WRBRIDGE HERALD CO. Proprietors and Pubtlaban wd 1906 by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN CIMI MM lUOMtriNM NO. Mil Tto CtMdlM frtm MM Cwwdltn tally r Awoctatton MM KM Audit KUTMU cinviitiint CLIO W Editor and PuMMitr M. DOM WILLIAM HAY Editor ;