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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 44 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, September 25, 1974 Farm leaders support farm workers9 right to strike OTTAWA (CP) Canadian farm workers should have the right to form unions and to strike, officials of two major farmers organizations savs Walter Miller, vice- president of the National Farmers Union and Gordon Hill president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, said they support an appeal by federal Manpower Minister Robert Andras for changes in provincial laws to give farm employees the same protec- tions as industrial workers Everybody has the right to collective Mr Miller said in an interview It is discriminatory to deny farm workers the protection that they need Mr Andras said last week that provinces should amend labor relations and employ- ment standards legislation to include farm workers At present, he said, only New- foundland extends collective bargaining, minimum wage, hours of work, child labor and other protective legislation to farm employees In Ontario an estimated farm workers are ex- empted from the province s labor relations act which governs dealings between management and unions On- tario farm workers who try to form unions could be prosecuted under long- standing laws banning con- spiracies to restrain trade a provincial labor department official said Mr Andras was responding to reports that low pay, long hours and squalid housing are continuing hardships among many migrant farm workers who harvest ciops in Ontario The manpower department uncovered intolerable and inhumane conditions among migrant workers in an investigation a vear ago Mr Miller said the National Farmers Union is supporting 'the struggle for good collec live agreements among grape pickers and other farm workers in the United States There is no reason why the right to organize should not be extended to farm workers in Canada he said He agreed with Mr Hill and Mi Audi as that a relatively small number of farmers ex- ploit the non-union status of their (arm hands Most pay decent wages under adequate uorkmg conditions, he said Mr Hill said a committee of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture now is reviewing the inclusion of farm workers in labor standards legislation and will likely have recommendations for the provincial government sometime this winter Mr Hill said protection for farm workers should include Sears Shape up and keep your tan. 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Centre Village Mall Telephone 328-9231 the right to form unions and conduct collective bargaining and coverage under provincial minimum wage laws, but not necessarily limits on hours of work and use of child labor "It would be a mistake to tell someone that he could only work eight hours a day during the Mr Hill said As for child labor laws, 'most farm kids are doing some work from the time they are five or six years old He said formation of farm worker unions would require a strong marketing system to enable farmers to absorb higher labor costs The con- sumer would eventually pay in the form of highei retail tood prices, he said The Andras proposal was dismissed as impractical by Conservative MP Jack Murta the party's chief agricultural critic in the Com- mons Mr Murta, a Manitoba farmer who currently employs 22 non-union tem- porary workers to dig potatoes, said farm operations are too diversified to be cov- ered in union contracts Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan said most farmers support the idea of farm worker unions because they see their own kids uorx ing in the fields for nothing ex- cept a pittance at the end of the year He endorsed Mr appeal for better provincial safeguards for larm labor but said the agriculture industrv must be strong to support reforms "Farmers should be in the position economically to pav their employees wages com parable to those paid in othc industries, he said And th's he said, could eventually lead to higher food prices Action group seeks grant EDMONTON Harder chairman of Action Committee has asked the Alberta government for a 000 grant to cover past expenses of the independent investigation agency and to pay part of the cost of future investigations Mr Harder said that the committee played an important role in exposing information about the Alberta Housing Corp that led to a judicial inquiry into the crour corporation s affairs He estimated expenses wen 000 The other 000 would bi used for other investigate, work Crumby way of life Polar bear watches sparrow search for food at zoo in Rome Archeologists to gather to view Irish miracle LONDON (AP) Archeologists will gather in December in the dark recesses of an ancient burial mound in Ireland to view an annual phenomenon that has occurred with precise regularity for years With the coming of the winter solstice Dec 21 a thin shaft of sunlight will pierce the darkness to illuminate an altar stone, carved with three mysterious spirals, at the back of the burial chamber 62 feet inside the mount The alignment of the tomb s tiny entrance and the altar stone with the sun's rays five days either side of the winter sun's lowest point in the in- dicates the stone-age people who built the mount around 3100 BC had a remarkably precise knowledge of the solar cycles The mound, near the village of Slane in County Meath. about 30 miles northwest of Dublin, predates England's Stonehenge. a mysterious cir- cle of massive stones also aligned with the sun's movements, by more than 000 years That would make the Irish burial mound the oldest known astronomically oriented monument in the world The Irish mound supports the theory that various stone- age cultures in the British Isles investigated solar cycles and may have exchanged in- formation that resulted in the construction of Stonehenge on 'Salisbury Plain about 1900 BC "Stonehenge and its astronomically positioned stones might have become an important repository or library of astronomical knowledge known at the time said Jon Patrick of the Dublin College of Technology Patnck a lecturer in land surveying, surveyed the astronomical alignment of the Irish mound for Michael O'Kelly. professor of archeology at University Coilge in Cork. Ireland A report of the survey appeared in Nature, the Brit- ish science journal During the winter solstice in 1969 O'Kelly observed that Grave vases targets of professional thieves four minutes after sunrise the sun s rays shone through the "roof box a yard wide rec tangular opening just abcne the entrance The} penetrated to the rear of the bum! chamber and fully illuminated it for 17 minutes before ti sun moved out of alignment Patrick wrote that O Kelu asked him "to make an ac curate survey of the roof to see if this phenomenon would have occurred when the burial chamber fir-5 built After a complicated ser of Patri concluded "that the sun }w- shone down the passage to the chamber ever since the date of its construction and will probably continue to do so forever Patnck noted that Ireland has about 200 similar bun.'] mounds sometimes cal