Pantechnicon; Nine To Five
I don't think I will be talking with two women from nine to five. An organization which represents women in certain industries including publishing insurance and banking here in Boston will be talking with Sam Luciana and Peg Terry tell us about their plans for 95 and exactly how they can improve the status of women in business here in Boston. That's coming up later on tonight's edition of radio's nightly magazine on arts entertainment and ideas.
First off on tonight's program let's hear from WGBH radio alliance with some personal thoughts on the results of yesterday's primary campaigns and a look at the people that surprise race. Here's Louis Lyons.
After a quick glance at the startling result of yesterday's primaries I want to talk a little about the Pulitzer Prize as reported yesterday. Crossover belted this asterisk word for President Ford in the three state primaries yesterday. As conservative Democrats rock to Reagan stand with competition practically ended in the Democratic Party and the Wallace campaign collapsed. Followers of the Alabama governor contributed to regen sweeps in Georgia and Alabama and a surprise win for him in Indiana. There's his first win outside the Sun Belt. Joe did the president's man in Georgia where Wallace had 42 percent of the vote last time he was left with only 14 percent yesterday. Faced with more crossover primaries ahead the president's nomination is threatened by this merger. Reg and WALLACE Well. Jimmy Carter continued his winning ways in the Democratic primaries taking Georgia with 83 percent and nearly 70 percent in Indiana where his former rival Birch bye endorsed him and campaigned with him. Party leaders from Chairman Robert Strauss down have responded to Carter's appeal to unite behind him to win the nomination and then just about sold up. Carter will have the luxury of time to plan his election campaign while the Republicans prospect is a better division right up to and through that convention. Ford told Congressman rode to the Republican House leader today that he'll still win though Reagan now has 40 more delegates than the president and says he has prevented a first ballot nomination for four. You have the president's nomination is salvages yet maybe by Reagan's increasing jingoism which is just having influential Republicans yesterday Reagan said he would risk a guerrilla war over the Panama Canal Zone. Barry Goldwater said Reagan is exhibiting a dangerous state of mind over Panama. The president must wait two weeks for a chance to halt the regen momentum in his home state of Michigan. Next week's primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia offer him little comfort.
Political historians say an incumbent president has not been in such straits in 100 years. Some suggest a parallel to Chester Arthur who had become president on the death of President Garfield. But in 1884 saw his party so divided that he gave up on his try at the nomination. The Republicans then lost to Grover Cleveland. Well every one to his trade. The Pulitzer Prizes have a fascination for me both journalistic and non journalistic. One would always like to know more about the achievements that are in them but one can't complain of their ubiquitous reign. The top prize for Distinguished Public Service went to the little Anchorage Daily News an hour in Alaska spec. sixteen thousand five hundred for its investigative reporting. It investigated the growth and influence of the big Teamsters Union on the economy and politics of Alaska. One would like to know what it turned up and what came of it. There wasn't new space for such detail with 18 awards to report though The New York Times yesterday gave nearly a whole page to the poets. Perhaps its op ed page will find space to spell out the investigation of this union whose power can shut down newspapers and revive inflation. A first for appearances was an award for sports commentary. There have been two awards for sports reporting but this went to Red Smith for its sports column cited for its erudition and literary quality its vitality and freshness of viewpoint. Scotty Reston executive editor of The New York Times is on the Pulitzer board. He's perhaps our leading political columnist since Lippman Scott who began as a baseball writer covering the Cincinnati Reds. He knows that the sports pages are the best read part of the paper to recognize the best sports writing may turn the literacy curve up or to a degree. Red Smith now 71 has been a contemporary of Grant and writes the pioneer sports columnist I believe he used to start his column with a poem or verse often from Kipling and a Ring Lardner who in the day before the column moved directly from baseball writing to fiction loudness literary quality has just been rediscovered a collection of his stories of Sunday. Red Smith says hell that writing a column is the easiest job in the world.
All you have to do is open a vein and bleed it out. Drop by drop. That's a literacy history award went to Paul Hogan who never went to college but has 17 or honorary degrees and now two Pulitzer is this latest. Lamie of Santa Fe. Though born in Buffalo and resident of Connecticut he's become an authority on the southwest.
He worked in a library when young the educational equivalent of that of the all time printer who sat in typed my hand learned about words and became an editor. I know a small town editor who always said his editorials directly into type without writing and curse this out of his long time have it in print.
The winner of the award for international reporting said in a Schonberg of the New York Times ignored cables from the office to leave Cambodia ahead of the advancing communists. He stayed behind three weeks after the government fell and the day he got out with a convoy I wrote 8000 words of what he had seen. He said he accepted the award for himself and my Cambodian colleague death Pran who had a deep commitment to the story and stayed to cover it. A great journalist this is rare recognition by a foreign correspondent of his assistant a native of the area whose guidance and its language and ways is essential to his reporting. Mr. Sandberg native Clinton a graduate of Harvard began as a cover boy in the time 17 years ago.
They all wore the Jean Miller of The Miami times his second years listed as for local reporting not for persistence or crusading LIFE SAVING THE TWO AWARDS cover a straight line of his work the first time in 1967 it was uncovering evidence that cleared a man and a woman in two separate murder cases after they'd been convicted the same year he dug into the case of two men convicted of killing two gasoline station attendants in a robbery. Another man confessed but the court refused to accept the confession. But Miller kept digging until the governor on Miller's investigation exonerated and freed the two men last September. Many a journalistic coup comes from being in the right place at the right time whether by accident instinct or planning. Stanley Foreman photographer of the Boston Herald American was covering a fire when he saw a woman and child clinging to a fire escape on the top of the five story building waiting for rescue. As he trained his camera on the fire escape gave way plunging them to the ground. I just kept shooting he explained the picture that captured the horror of the moment. Our members cope by the light. Bill Cunningham of the all Boston Herald who was covering baseball spring training in Florida in 1929 when he heard an important piece of news outside his field. He wired his office with the new president who was appointing a Boston man named Charles Adams to his cabinet not the Bruins man Cunningham and manage the office. Then bro in Zona it was a C.. Adams. This was a big local school. Mr. Adams was a Democrat who were Republican. He was a third child Francis Adams grandson of a civil war ambassador to anyone. Just one generation beyond the close of the Adams Chronicle. He was a distinguished sailor too and also a character of now the subject of a salty article sailing with Uncle Charlie by George Homans in that delicious Centennial Boston anthology by Howard and Bessie JONES The many faces of Boston.
The Globe sent me an end to end of year Mr. Adams. Oh I know the gold man he said. I suppose you meant the owners of the paper. But no he meant the yachting writers he'd met as aid reported his long career of winning sailing orders.
This year's awards lacked the piquancy of controversy that is often surrounding them. One such case is recalled by the eviction award to solve bell over his latest novel Humboldt's gift. That was probably the best known of the Done journalist winners. So Bella came out for Pulitzer consideration three times before in 54 off the adventures of Augie Monch in 65 Hertzog each time the fiction award was omitted. One would like to know why. In 1960 the Pulitzer jury on fiction picked his novel Henderson the Rain King but the top poets award mostly publishers vetoed it and gave the prize instead calendar is advise and consent a choice that shocked a large part of the historians and political journalists of the country. Courage a veiled attack on the legacy of the New Deal expressed view is widely shared by rich publishers on the board. Protests arose when it was put on the reading list of some college courses in government where it may have influenced some future votes for Ronald Reagan. The editorial writing award went to a Los Angeles Times writer who expressed a deeply held views of the journalistic profession itself with an attack on secrecy and government and court imposed censorship of trial proceedings. Philip Kirby the writer has been 44 years in journalism. This is his last year before retiring. He says of editorial writing that attention to style is essential for an editorial that is not read does not interest anybody.
Some personal comments from WGBH radio. Louis Lyons who returns on Friday spent technican with our full review of this week's news.
Nine to Five is not a labor union but it fulfills many of the functions of traditional labor unions serving women who work in the publishing insurance and banking industries.
Coming up on May 6th the organization 4:51 will hold a day long hearing at Bostons Parker House taking a look at what many women call their dead end jobs and what they can do about it.
On tonight's ban technic on Joan Margolis and me talk with Zembla S.A.. She works at the educational publishing service in Cambridge. And Peg Terry who's a clerical worker with management directions incorporated their nine to five positions make them the CO coordinators of the planning committee of nine to five symbols Ianto and Peg Terry.
We don't bargain. We just train the women to talk to management. We are not involved in that aspect of training of talking to management. We train the women. If management in some situations asks them to come it will be very happy to go in but for the most part management does not welcome their welcome nine to five people with open arms into the company.
Also because of the differences between an organization like 95 and a union we tend to deal with different kinds of issues. Unions deal with the very basic bread and butter issues of salaries and seniority and those kind of things and groups like 9 to 5 are generally not a factor in dealing with the money issues. We are more concerned with for example with our affirmative action hearings with focusing public attention on the systems that management can set up to ensure that women have fair and equal access to jobs to hiring to promotion to training programs.
OK what is the attitude of industry and what is your biggest problem. You said that you don't deal with the bread and butter issues but obviously you do get into the basic problems of pay scales and working conditions.
What are the other things you're looking at right now. Job discrimination lack of job training job posting women in debt in jobs and making women aware of the fact that they are indeed in jobs and that there is discrimination and that there are laws to cover it.
And I think the issue of dead end jobs is a very important one exe for example in the insurance industry. Almost all of the clerical supervisors are women whereas the next level up and higher in management positions I believe only 12 out of every 100 managers is a woman. Now I cannot believe and I and the insurance commissioner James Stern agrees with 4:51 that this is evidence of discrimination. There cannot be that big a difference between the qualifications and the duties of the top level of clerical supervisors and the bottom level of management. But women never bridge the gap or almost never bridge the gap. And what 95 is doing is helping see to it that more women bridge that gap.
Basically that's one of the. EEOC guidelines of affirmative action and that is that women are trained and promoted into better paying and higher level jobs and in so many cases as we've seen from our poll and from talking in interviewing various women that this is this just isn't happening they're not being trained their affirmative action plans are just words on paper that are not being enforced.
And how hard is it though. I would imagine it would be a very delicate process to have somebody who's been an office worker for say 20 years to start looking at her whole business career as a person put in a dead end job.
We're not saying that clerical jobs are dead end jobs I'm a clerical worker and proud of the fact that I'm a clerical worker.
We are saying that there are smart women who want to move into something different which is not necessarily into a management job. Should have that opportunity they should not for example in the big paper factories and in an insurance factory there are women who spend eight hours a day typing the same forms. Now if they as they often do get tired of typing the same forms and ask for a promotion they are told there is no place they can go because typing the same form every day does not qualify them to do anything but type forms. We are saying that there should be either training programs or bridge jobs that would enable people who want to to move from one level to another either up vertically or laterally transfer from one section of the company to another. But I think it's important to emphasize that we're not saying that the work that women do in offices is dead end or boring or worthless. There is a EEOC atter something which shows a women in the clerical pool and there's a slogan underneath that that says you know why waste your people were not wasted as clericals the work that women do in offices is the reason that the. The officer survived that these industries are strong as they are. What we do is vital but we are not given compensation for it. And if we want to move or to progress in any direction we're not allowed to.
What kind of incentive is there for companies who have been made to wind up affirmative action plans to start enforcing what can you what can you do to encourage them to enforce the use of these planes.
Well the incentive is that it's there and what 95 as an organisation can do there are two things we're going to approach it from the level of going to the government agencies which should are responsible for enforcing the law in that particular industry and asked that they turn their attention to them.
Also we can work with women within the companies to form women's groups whether informal or formal so they can monitor the affirmative action efforts of the company and apply pressure from the employees and in the publishing industry.
Last August we took five of five publishers into the office of federal contract compliance because they were not complete. These five companies were not complying with their affirmative action plans and what was one of the results was that each of the companies has been investigated and in the process of being investigated and this is what what this did to not only those five companies but to other publishing companies to scare them so that they upgraded their policies a little bit not to not to the extremes we'd like to see them upgraded but instead of job posting. Some companies now have a job counseling service which isn't exactly what we wanted but it's a step in the right direction for ensuring that women get better position and job posting. To answer your other question about women who've been in the office for 20 years we have on a very active member of 9 to 5 who's an older woman in her late 40s with 11 children who goes to maybe two or three meetings a week from 9 to 5 and just thinks it's the most horrific thing in the world. And 95 is not number one. A radical group of women libbers they're just it's just not that I think that that should be stressed that these are just women who are concerned with equal pay for equal work. About a quarter of our members come in and say we're not we're not involved in women's liberation. And but we do want to see equal pay for equal work so that what a lot of people should realize is that this organization is not radical and that we combine. A little bit of the movement and a little bit of the labor movement and have made another movement. And that's just organizing with office workers.
I think there's going to a question about your definition of dead end jobs. Yeah. Is what you're saying about that in jobs the business about how a dead end job is what you what you make it. In other words that any given job is not necessarily a bad one or a last second class or a low grade one. I'm not quite sure what that was all about. Could you run that by me again.
I think there's a difference between saying that the work someone does is not valuable and saying that it is a dead end job by dead end as it's been used by 95 and in official kind of proclamations it means a job that you can't progress from doing this job does not train you or give you the knowledge or the experience that would qualify you for a different kind of position.
And at that point you gave the example of my job when I was going to typing the form over and over. Are you suggesting that for people who do that kind of work that there should be those at the least those sort of lateral moves you suggested from one.
There should be rather No you should also be either bridge jobs or training programs so that they could. Get the experience the qualifications the skills necessary to move up if that is what they want to do. I'm not a Corelle corollary problem to this is that one of companies which will reimburse you for twitchin for courses if they are only only if they are job related so that if you have a clerical job and you would like to move into say a low level management job say you are a personnel clerk and you would like to do personnel work. You cannot go to school and be reimbursed by the company to do anything outside of you know you could take shorthand courses you could take typing courses. You could not take management courses or personnel psychology courses. What we're saying is that because women for the most part Antar in what are low level and or dead in jobs they are thereby restricted by the company from ever advancing because they can't get the experience on the job or in training to ever.
And Vance I guess go ahead. Is this true in the public wishing industry also. In other words if if you were to meet a woman who wanted to enter into the whole field of publishing and who thought well maybe I can get my foot in the door by taking this receptionist job what would you suggest that she do.
A lot of women who work for publishing companies have gone through four years of school. I have a B.A. in English and stat as secretaries. A lot of women do because of the lack of job posting within these companies this is where they stand till they leave until they get good and fed up and they just leave. And a lot of women have the job title of secretary yet are doing editing jobs and have the title and and salary of the secretary. And I would say that unfortunately what women are going to have to do is not take the secretarial jobs that are offered them until we win a job posting and all of these companies and job postings very important for the women in those companies to advance and make sure that those job postings or posted in good faith and that they arent already filled because there are so many ways of getting around so many of the items in affirmative action plans.
But one thing you just said that women shouldn't take the secretarial jobs until I am going to do that again.
What I meant to say was that the. Women should be aware of the fact that secretarial jobs often in publishing companies. Dead end jobs that they are not going to move into editorial positions. They're going to stay as secretaries because the job posting job postings does not work and most of the major publishing companies in Boston and what kind of action can you take to overcome that. Well as I said we have we filed suits against five companies and we have one form of job posting and several of those companies a job counseling service and that is if you have the background you can go to speak to somebody in person now and she is now required to show you all of the job openings. One of the ways that women in publishing has found to counteract the the going to. Eliminating the stigma of going and applying for a job and finding out that their job is already paid has already been filled is that if you have five women go in and all five women are told that know this you know you're not qualified to do this job and each one is really qualified to do it. What you have there is proof of the fact that that job was for field before you even applied and that is against affirmative action.
And when I bring this to the point of the hearings that you're all involved in on my fix could you tell us a little background about what's going to happen there at the State conference.
No it said the foreman of the Parker House program May 6 after work at 545. Yes.
The 95 affirmative action hearing is our opportunity to speak to our fellow office workers and to public officials who will be attending that hearing about our experiences on the job about the problems we've been encountered. The barriers were smacked up against and relating it to the fact that it's not only unfair it's illegal and that it's illegal we feel that management and government should turn their attention to the situation of women office workers and make us a priority for enforcement of affirmative action.
And what's the mechanism of that. Is that the kind of action you're talking about against that publishing company.
I mean how do we you know have the government make of office workers a priority. Well we can't sue the government so that we would have to go to the government and first convince them that there is a problem which there is and then pressure them into making us a priority. We can work through specific companies who are not obeying the law by going out by filing suit by organizing the employees to to enable them to meet with management to present the an exposé of the problems. But we would be to a certain extent relying on the good faith of the government because this is the law and they are committed to enforcing the law.
How is the government how effectively is the government enforcing the law and you know the words these conditions exist with state employees as well.
Well I don't know if the question state employees apply because affirmative action is a federal law and although state employees are covered by the affirmative action regulations the state is not responsible for enforcing it. There is evidence that the government too violates the law that within. I believe it's the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission they have an inordinate number of. As in most companies white men filling all the vital positions but we feel that that the government relies on the fact that people trust what the government should rely on the fact that people trust them and are and you know that their sort of public image and I believe that working on the public image and image is an effective way of pressuring the government.
One of the things that we intend to do with the hearing is to advise women the women who will be in attendance there all of their rights of what affirmative action means to the over 800 contractors in Massachusetts who required to have affirmative action program plans by law. We want to advise them of their rights so that they can form. What chapters of 9 to 5 or not necessarily chapters but start working with other women in their office just to gain the what's legally this job posting job training. Ask for one thing at a time. But management becomes very. And in some cases and we heard from women from Polaroid who started very small and asked for just one or two things and in the beginning of her campaign to have the affirmative action program enforced and they now have one of the better working at and from live action plans in Massachusetts they probably are the best.
John Margolis and I have been talking with Sam le S.A. and Peg Terry their CO coordinators of the 9 to 5 planning committee. 95 of course has their day long hearing coming up tomorrow the 6th of May at the Parker House in Boston.
And that's it for tonight. Pam Technica radio seven day a week. Maggie it's entertainment I might be. Going on week nights 6:30 weekends at 5:30 every night after National Public Radio's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Frankfurt's Maurice. Thanks for listening and have a good evening.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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