Pacific Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Sep 28 1983, Page 30

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - September 28, 1983, Tokyo, JapanWednesday september 28, 1983 Okinawa Pacific stars and stripes 7 buses Are Back As strike ends by Jim leaps a contributor Naha transportation workers Are Back on the Job after the longest bus strike in Okinawa s history but some of the problems which led to the work stoppage Are far from settled they say. And life May be Back to Normal for american military families living in the local Community who use the buses to travel to and from bases and for weekend recreation trips but for Many japanese the fallout from the dispute May have just begun. Union leaders called off the strike after two of the three companies involved offered monthly pay in creases of 1,000 yen and annual bonuses of 450 percent. The third company being struck settled Las month. The settlements were far from the $85 monthly hikes and 570 per cent annual bonuses workers had been demanding since they first walked off the Job May 28. Recent offers were accepted by the Union apparently in the belief they were the Best they could Hope for. The three companies that were struck operate nearly 1,000 commuter and tour buses on the Island. Those buses were off the Road a total of 35 Days during the dispute leaving Only one very Small company with the impossible task of serving the is land s More than 200,000 daily com Muters. Although All buses Are operating on Normal schedules now Union leaders say the underlying reasons for the strikes still Are not settled. Okinawa s bus companies for some time have been trying to work out merger agreements recommended by National and prefectural government transportation officials to provide better service for commuters and to tie in with the proposed Monorail system being planned to help Allevi ate Naha s traffic congestion. When that Monorail system will get off the drawing boards is anybody s guess at this Point. Officials have been planning for it and conducting negotiations with land owners for several years. Unionists feel the proposed Mer Gers and the Monorail will significantly reduce the need for buses costing them their jobs. They have been lobbying for what seems to Many to be unreasonable pay in creases in order to be in a better individual financial position when the mergers take place. Severance pay and unemployment benefits Are based on workers salaries so the higher their pay is at the time of a if the More they la make in Bene fits. Government Union and company officials now have formed a study group to come up with solutions to the remaining problems worrying the workers but those solutions Are no expected to come quickly. Meanwhile Many Island residents say they still Are feeling the effects of the strike. Among the most serious Post strike effects concerns local High school students particularly those in vocational schools. In the local business Community merchants say the bus strike and heavier than Normal rain earlier in the year amounted to a double punch which has Cut deeply into their revenues. The rain kept the tourists away and the strike kept both tourists and local shoppers away said one businessman. When the buses began to Roll on a regular basis again there was no Rush by Consumers to get to shopping areas. Business has been picking up very slowly since the strike died one Naha merchant said. People got used to shopping close to Home and the business volume has t even begun to approach pre strike Levels. What we lost during the strike is lost. We won t recover that. All we can do now is try to get things Back to Normal As quickly As possible by holding the three companies that were struck operate nearly 1,000 commuter and tour buses on the Island. Those buses were off the Road a total of 35 Days during the dispute leaving Only one very Small company with the impossible task of serving the Island s More than 200,000 daily commuters. Those High schools have enrol ments made up of students from throughout the prefecture. Most get to classes by City bus and when the buses were idled during the strike students who lived More than nine Miles from their campuses were excused from classes. That meant that for 35 Days Over the last 3/2 months Many classrooms were More than half empty. Japanese students must successfully Complete several monthly and semester exams to qualify for graduation but Many students missed those tests and the classroom work preceding them because of the strike. Prefectural education officials say that work must be made up or the students cannot be graduated. A spokesman said each school has been told to work out its own makeup program but some officials fear some of the students May not be a Leto be graduated. A prefectural government spokes Man said even though the bus strike May have kept shoppers close to Home the merchants could t just close up shop and wait until the dispute was settled. They had to pay rent on their stores and pay other Bills and Many More people used up their savings for that the spokesman said. He added that some merchants did t have the Cash reserves to last out the strike and turned to loan companies compounding their prob lems. Now they have to pay rent plus pay Back the Loans and sometime that s very difficult he said. Alleged Shady business practices by some loan companies called Sarakin for salary loan have been under close scrutiny by the local press and government officials for the last few months. Some of those companies charge interest rates of 50 percent or Jii Gher Banks charge 9 to 10 percent but the manner in which some Sarakin compound the interest results in the Borrower paying Back several times the original amount of the loan. We Are the prefectural spokes Man said going to have to work out some program of Low interest Loans to help those businessmen and we re working on that problem a spokesman for a Naha depart ment store said the strike hit depart ment store business As hard As it hit smaller shops and stores. The strike began just when we d put out our summer merchandise and the Lack of bus transportation Cut our customer flow by More than half he said. Now it s the fall season. Nobody wants to buy Spring or summer clothing now so we re stuck with it. The Only thing we can do is come up with new promotions and try to get rid of the summer merchandise at the same time we re Selling fall and Winter merchandise. If we can find the spokesman added that All businessman Are praying that there s not another strike next tourism too Okinawa s major Industry suffered greatly during the strike and that suffering appears destined to continue at least in some cases. Many tourists Cut Short their vacations Here when the strike began while other main Landers who had planned to come to Okinawa during the summer cancelled their trips. Now some hotel and tour Agency operators say the strike s Clouds will hang Over their businesses for sever Al months to come. We have very few reservations for the last three months of the year one hotel manager said. Our reservations Are Down 30 percent Over what they were last and one operator of a Small tourist Agency in Central Okinawa said he does t care if the buses Are running or not. I Don t have enough people com ing Down for the rest of this year to fill up even one bus he said. Kadena Pilot receives Chennault award by capt. Alan k. Peissig . Air Force Kadena a a Kadena a fighter Pilot has been named the air Force s most outstand ing Aerial warfare tactician. It. Col. Jere t. Wallace 67th tactical fighter Squadron tvs commander received the air Force association s second annual Claire e. Chennault award at the association s National convention in Washington . Wallace was recognized for his record setting participation in William Tell 82, the air Force s worldwide air to air weapons Competition and for his Superior contributions to the award winning 18th tactical fighter Wing Tow. As chief of the 18th Tow s William Tell 82 team Wallace planned and led six f-15s from Kadena to Florida in 14.8 hours non Stop. A single Kc-10 extender was used As the primary Tanker and cargo aircraft in the deployment that normally requires nine Kc-135s, two c-141s and three Days to Complete. While this record setting deployment demonstrated his logistical planning skill his performance at the William Tell meet also highlighted his ability As a Leader and Pilot. Thirteen highly skilled tactical aircraft units from around the world were in the Competition but the 18th Tow walked away with Many team honors including the Gen. Daniel Chappie James or. Award As the top Overall team and the f-15 top team award. In addition Wallace won the maj. Gen. James l. Price top gun award recognizing the Pilot with the Best combined score Over a wide Range of tactical air to air missile shots in head to head Competition we did t dominate William Tell 82 As much As these awards might indicate he said. The team and individual scores were extremely close and i was surprised but very pleased with our Wallace is also greatly responsible for developing and refining the current 18th Tow concept of operations according to col. Philip m. Drew 18th Tow commander. His combat techniques and philosophies were tested and proven successful during local Coral aces and philippine Cope Thunder 83-2 exercises the 1983 Pacific air forces operational readiness inspection Ori and during team spirit 1983, according to Drew. I enjoy my Job As 67th tvs commander because i get to Fly regularly and be a member of a great team. One Man can t win these awards or develop operational concepts it takes a team Effort. Fifth air Force the 313th air division and the 18th worked together toward these common goals he said. Pacific stars and stripes depends largely on Public affairs offices for contributions to this Page. If you have a Story that would be of particular interest to this newspaper please let your Pao know about it

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