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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 7, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 LETHBRIOGE HERALD Friday, June 7, 1974 Lockout? Strike? The attitude of the meat packers in 'locking out" their union employees is understandable but nevertheless ill advised. Operating a packing plant is not something that can be stopped and started at a moment's notice. Several days are needed to "wind up" and "wind down." The livestock have to be purchased and transported, the machinery prepared, and so on. The unions served strike notice and the companies took them at their word. The operations were wound down. Then at the last moment the strike was postponed, not cancelled, while the membership was to vote on a settlement offer. The companies said, in effect, "when you have agreed to a settlement and cancelled your strike notice, then we can get back to work. But until then we cannot operate not knowing from day to day whether you'll be with us tomorrow. So we're closing down until this is settled." That is called a lockout, and the unions are outraged that the companies would dare do such a thing to them. Still, however reasonable, the companies' position should not be so rigid. There was a chance, once the union offered postponement of the strike, that the dispute might be resolved quickly. True, some damage had already been done by the forced winding down, but the companies should have risked winding up again. The public has come to expect more flexibility, more compromise, from management than was shown here. Hardest hit by this disorderly situation will not be the packers or the workers or ev'en the public, for people can get along for a while without meat if they have to. But as has been said already, this could kill the already very sick livestock industry. Limited self-government Some form of limited self-government for Scotland and Wales seems to be forthcoming. The British Labor government has pledged to propose new legislation that would give both peoples a "bigger share of the decision-making process." A document, tabled in Westminster at the same time the pledge was given, sets torth a variety of ideas for limited home rule, raising more questions than it answers. Government spokesmen say the purpose is to generate public discussion reminiscent of "participatory democracy" as practised in the earlier days of the Trudeau government here in Canada to help the Wilson government to come to a decision later in the year. Impatient nationalists will see this as a stalling device, no doubt. They will appreciate that unanimity on any proposal for limited self-government will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. But rushing through legislation establishing provincial rights would be folly. The difficulties being experienced in Canada over matters of provincial rights is sufficient evidence of that. One of the reasons Scottish nationalists have been pressuring for their own government is the desire to claim the revenue from offshore oil to be used for the benefit of the Scots. A confrontation such as has been waged in Canada between Ottawa and the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan would soon develop in Britain if the plan for a measure of self-government is not carefully defined. Inevitably the tragic failure of the experiment with self-government in Northern Ireland will be on the minds of everyone. The Scots and Welsh, however, do not have the division among themselves that exists in Ulster so the Irish experience should not be taken as sufficient reason for stalling on the Scotland-Wales front. THE CASSEROLE The United States Navy has discontinued work and will suspend research on Project Sanguine, which it describes as "a vast system of underground wires for sending emergency messages to missile firing submarines." Now let's run through that a little slower; underground wires for sending messages to submarines Well, maybe we missed something. There's just no end to the hardships caused by the changing oil supply situation. Now it's the tanker business. After all the uncertainty caused by shifts in Arab oil policy, owners of tankers now must face the prospect of reduced demand because of rapidly developing North Sea production, the planned re-opening of the Suez Canal, and what may be the sharp'est blow of all, an American drive towards self-sufficiency. As always, it's the little guy who's likely to suffer most, the poor chap with only a dozen or so ships, maybe worth only a hundred million or so. It's really sad. Perhaps the government will be able to do something RUSSELL BAKER Atom in the turban India was always the parson among nations. "Oh! all the other nations would say they saw India coming down the street. "Hide the guns under the table and get rid of the loaded dice. Here comes India." And India would stride right on in. and stand there, looking at all those miserable sinner nations with such contempt that it did your heart good to see them humbled. America especially. America was always getting caught by India. It could never get all its guns under the table before India walked in and caught it. This was because America had so many guns that there was no way any country could have gotten them all tucked under the table in the time it took India to slip into town and start looking for sin. Also America had the atom bomb, which it strapped to its back like a monkey. It was very tricky getting the atom bomb unstrapped and under the table quickly, and America was usually still fumbling with the straps when India strolled in. "What childish India would say to America. America would reply. "Playing with your atom bomb again. I India would say. "Will you never grow up. America? What of humanity? What of spiritual 11 was no good for America to offer excuses or try to persuade India that it loved spiritual values so much it needed its bomb to blow up anybody who Jet down spiritual values; to wit. Russia. India would simply stare down America and order it to report to the United Nations for a sermon, which Russia could not help laughing about. This always brought Russia to India's attention. 'You be there for the sermon, too." India would say to Russia. Til- be preaching on spiritual values, the evil of guns and loaded