WGBH Journal; Somerville Primary
Good evening and welcome to The Journal I'm Amy sands. Tonight a little analysis on those hotly contested summer of elections the effect of computerized automation on blue collar workers. And Gloria Steinem Jane Fonda and say Representative Saundra Graham urged Boston area women to organize for economic justice. All of that right after the local news. Three white teenagers charged in the shooting of Jamaica Plain High School student Tao Williams were freed on bail this afternoon. The youths were released after arraignment in Charlestown district court on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Williams a black football player was shot with a single bullet during a football scrimmage at Charlestown High School Friday. He remains paralyzed from the neck down. The citywide Parents Advisory Council meanwhile has asked all concerned Boston parents and students to attend a rally at City Hall Plaza to noon tomorrow to demand immediate action from city officials. Terry Terrelle explained this afternoon why parents need to demand action from the city.
We are worried about the fact that children particularly minority children have become unison victims of racism. We want city officials to realize that we as parents need them to take firm action to protect our children. We need them to speak clearly to the haters in our community that their violence will not be tolerated. We need to. Another public view to tell the truth. The city that they will be protected. We do not want to children to live in fear. We will not tolerate having to send our children off to. With the fear that they might be attacked attacked on school buses attacked and attacked on the playing field or attacked on the street. The parents of this city call upon the mayor and the people of the city to act quickly and firmly. Our children must not be afraid to go to school. They must be able to travel freely across the city to Rell said that C-PAC is calling for the noontime rally instead of a school boycott because a boycott would have shifted the focus in the wrong direction. The Boston School Committee in the meantime has scheduled an
emergency meeting for tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock to discuss security provisions for school athletic events. And Mayor Kevin white this morning met with state and local political figures and three black ministers at Jamaica Plain High School. The Reverend Donald luster challenged white state senator Joseph Timothy House Speaker Thomas McGee and city council and school committee members to sign a statement denouncing a climate of racial hostility in a city which has become notorious for racial violence since court ordered busing began in 1974. Mayor White said he would sign a statement denouncing racial hostilities. But Reverend James Coleman fired back that actions speak louder than words. Coleman continued quote silence is simply endorsing what has gone on and it's going to get worse. Reverend Michael Haines the third black minister also called on Cardinal Umberto Madero to speak out against the city's racism. Meanwhile classes reopen peacefully today in a Wellesley High School after last week's fighting between groups of black and white students. According to Wellesley School Superintendent Gordon Bruno
after a fistfight last Thursday between a black student and a white student. The black youth and two of his friends were given permission to leave school for the day. The three black students went to the parking lot and saw their car being burglarized by some white youths. This sparked a larger incident between groups of black and white students. The fighting resulted in three students hospitalized and three arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct. The head of the Walpole guards union has resigned after a controversial two year term during which Walpole guards have substantially increased their power at the prison. Michael McLaughlin today expressed confidence in a corrections commissioner William Hogan saying he was resigning to avoid hindering Hogans objectives. McLaughlin declined to comment more specifically on the reasons for his resignation. Contacted and dead in this afternoon Norfolk County district attorney William Delahunt said McLaughlin had not resigned due to any pressure from his office. DELAHUNT is looking into allegations that the guards union or soliciting from the union hired committed fraud in a fundraising effort last summer. Meanwhile in
other Walpole news families and friends of prisoners report that one block 10 prisoner is still on a hunger strike. Inmates skimpy to Vasco has not eaten for almost six weeks and a protest against conditions in the block. And that's the local news. Mayoral campaign waged in seven Massachusetts cities will take new shape today as voters cast their primary ballots. The mayors of Lynn Beverly Salem Peabody Fitchburg and Somerville all face challenges that hope to provide some competition in a November election. The campaign in Somerville is of particular interest. Well Mayor Tom August may become the first one term mayor the city has ever seen. August faces strong challenges from three other candidates all running more against him
than on issues of their own. We put a new walker asked Somerville community new staffer Frank Ackerman about the major issues in the election. One big issue is the tax rate and reduction in the tax rate which may or August is claiming credit for another big issue for many voters it is rent control which after being in effect through most of the 1970s was eliminated here a few months ago leading to skyrocketing rents in some places where voters are concerned about the cutbacks in Social Services which the new administration has brought about a change from the previous reform administration of Mayor Ralph. Some people are fiercely loyal to Mayor I guess whereas others are upset about tales of personal corruption. Acquaintances of his getting a new bathroom which was built in the mayor's office at public expense that sort of thing. Going to the tax rate it's my understanding that even though it was lowered two years consecutively it seems that it didn't go down quite as far as it could have.
That's right the reason it was possible to lower it at all is because the state has been providing increased amounts of money to municipalities for the purpose of tax reduction and this new tax cutting era that we've entered. Everyone else's calculations outside of the administration show that much more should have been possible than Mayor Auguste gave us. In fact last year Somerville United Neighborhood the largest community group here charge that Mayor August was hiding most of the money he got last year giving only a token tax reduction last year in order to be able to give a big one for the election. It seems like. Despite their protests that is exactly come true. Last year's tax reduction of a dollar fifty on the tax rate are less than 1 percent reduction was infinitesimal compared to what should have been available this year. The mayor plans to have his cake and eat it too. He's announced that he thinks the tax reduction will be on the order of 15 to 20 dollars on the tax rate a much more significant reduction. So he hopes to get through the primary on having announced what he thinks the reaction will be then it will be possible to announce what the tax rate really is and he hopes ride through the general election on the
strength of that do you think this campaign is going to revolve around August record or do you think that some of the other candidates have positive things to offer I know that Boone is a candidate who's more or less well-known in Summerville but kept a blind eye. And Haley both youngsters although they come from fairly political families. That's right all three other names are moderately well-known Brune because he himself has run Haley in caps because their fathers have been in politics for a long time. Now I think that the Haley and Capriano campaigns really offer very little in the way of substantive difference in the way of policies that you can point to they do claim that they'll do things slightly different particularly on police related issues particularly on the tax cut. Those seem to be the. Safety issues to talk about this year without making any waves. The Brown campaign is the one that poses the clearest alternative even there it's not always so clear but represents such a difference from August and I think from all three other candidates in that he
reflects some of the politics of the reform administration as Lester Ralph which ran Summerville for eight years before August took over in 77 that direction the broom represents is a softer position towards rent control Brown isn't out campaigning for rent control but he said he won't veto it if it passes the alderman August and I think all three of the other candidates would veto rent control if it came up Broon would reinstate some of the social services which August moved quite quickly to eliminate from city hall in the early days of his administration in a number of ways it appears Broome would probably be more sympathetic to community groups trying to change the city for the better. Whereas the other three is take your choice of which face you like. I suspect they do about the same policies alien Catalona might be fresh air might be a little more honest in some ways and would evolve a different set of people in city hall but they probably wouldn't represent fundamental change. What about the tenor of this campaign. Somerville is known for some pretty dirty
election politics. Well last time around. People accuse Mayor Ralph of homo sexual activity with teenage boys. A charge which was completely discredited and disproved never had any substance to it. But all around us in running broom was running in closely identified with him I was widely seen as a smear on the Brown campaign at the time. Nothing quite like that has happened this year although when the summer's old journal the middle of the road weekly newspaper that's published here ran out a long and excellent editorial denouncing August's record and saying vote for any of the other three candidates besides August someone who knows who went out and tried to buy every single copy of the paper in town. In fact the journal was able to print more copies of the Brown campaign printed and distributed this editorial all over town so they didn't quite prevent anybody from getting the word out. Ackerman says the final election will most likely be a season off between August and Broon although he's less sure about Broome's presence on the ballot. We'll let you know tomorrow.
We work together with your work together with the green. Whether we're on a jag or in a good. Computerized automation or machines run by computers I threatening the Jones of blue collar workers those machines could for example make the skilled machinist an anachronism unless organized labor amounts immediate and powerful opposition. This is the theme of the season's first work in technology lecture at MIT as Greg Fitzgerald reports the power of withholding your labor means very little. If a plant can operate without it the labor movement. Space is a very frightening new challenge.
Technological scabbing according to you a W machinist and Journeyman Harley shaken the 1984 world of George Orwell has arrived at least for American workers. Shaking is now on the United Auto Workers national negotiating team and specializes on the issues of new technology on the shop floor. He has studied the impact of automation on the American labor force and he predicts that unless organized labor pushes control over automation on the bargaining table the power and the ability of labor will be eliminated by management's control over new technology. At the heart of the technology problem is a system known as numerical control. Basically all the information that a machine needs to know how to make something is placed on a tape. That process if not controlled by a machinist on the floor takes away the need for skilled workers and is shaken explained numerical control also denies many workers one of the basic rights of a union. Workers cannot effectively strike so they can use as an example the liberal Washington Post which were two decades was held up as an example of
ideal union management relations. In 1973 the post imported executives from papers who had experience with breaking unions and with dealing with strikes. After a major computerization typesetting in 73 in one thousand seventy five the post went after one of the key unions within the industry the pressman preparations included sending 55 white collar workers to a school to learn how to operate the process in Oklahoma City. After these 55 executives graduated the Post issued a series of ultimatums to its unions. The union struck and during the strike during what I believe was a very clearly management provoked strike. Thirty five managers took the
jobs of two hundred five pressman while the workers of the Washington Post were walking the picket line. The Washington Post was being printed in that plant not at full production but it doesn't have to be at full production to be a phenomenally demoralizing and effective weapon. After four bitter months on the picket line the Washington Post hired an entire new crew for its press room. The press Men's Union at the post wasn't weakened it was destroyed. So what does organized labor to do in light of new computer automated technology. Should workers smash the new machines. Much like the British Luddites did during the Industrial Revolution. No says the UAW is hardly shaken. Technology is not the enemy of labor unions. Managerial control over the technology is for workers and for unions the central issue comes down to one of control. If Labor does not find ways to control technology then technology will clearly be used as a
way to control labor attempts by workers to have input into the use of technology however challenge the most sacred of sacred costs managerial prerogative. In most cases management is far more willing to bargain over wages or benefits than to bargain over how technology is used or how the workplace is organized. Yet the tremendous power of computer based technology gives Labor A little choice but to challenge managerial domination of what is so potentially powerful a weapon because the design and deployment of computer automation becomes the extension of corporate power on the shop floor. And the same callousness that management can display in plant closings or plant relocations is reflected in the use and development of technology. The dangers of computer based automation
for labor are so great. The technology bargaining is clearly the way of the future. Harley shaken former journeyman and machinist with the United Auto Workers and now on the UAW a national negotiating team specializing on the issue of new technology. He spoke last week at the MIT series on a work in technology. His entire lecture we broadcast later this fall on GBH radio producer B-H Journal. I'm Greg Fitzgerald. How does the economy affect women. And what are women going to do about it. These were some of the questions tackled that the women in economic justice conference at the State House this past weekend had some 27 workshops working women political activists and
representatives of government watchdog groups discussed banks regulatory agencies unions runaway shops and welfare to name a few. All with the object of examining how each affects women. Among the many speakers was New York feminist Gloria Steinem who took special note of the struggles of 9 to 5 Boston's Organization for Women office workers. This group has caused a hospital to redefine terms and to talk about equal pay for comparable work. To understand that in fact the average secretary head is better educated by about two years than the average boss that we see at least occasionally see a an office boy who gets to be head of the company but we never see a secretary and understand that in these great concentrations of women and women workers lie all of the issues that that women care about. Yes we need job ladders Yes we need all the upward mobility
techniques job posting job descriptions and so on but most of all we need to honor the work that women are doing and to understand that these cities and states and major corporations of this country are living off the backs of an office with women clerical workers women secretarial workers were underpaid. Who are underpaid over educated overqualified and who are literally the cheap labor system off which this paper shuffling society largely works. It also makes us understand I think that we need a wave of labor organizing parallel to the 30s. And also I think it is made us understand that we are not only talking about work in the traditional masculine sense but we are talking about a redefinition of work that all human work is
important and honorable and should be rewarded. Massachusetts state representative Saundra Graham also spoke at the conference. She said that the inclusion of black women and working class women in the women's movement would be a major step forward for all women. What we want to do is to start from here to start talking about inclusionary politics and that low income women need to know be they black or white that they are welcome into this movement. How do we make them welcome into this movement. That's what we have to explain to them. They some of them have skills who are on welfare who are low income who just can't find a job. Some of them need education and training to bring him into the system so that they can get a job at at a decent wage to raise their family without any federal assistance or state assistance. What is it that we're looking at it maybe this this. This conference can address those issues. Of how we bring in the masses of women and they're all out there waiting
to be tapped because the cost of survival in this country is so prohibitive. We're going to see a lot of them die die because there is no health care die because they can't find food for their children or themselves die because they don't have a nutritional have a plan for themselves. You can get food probably you can get potatoes and all those starchy foods that I grew up on that does not give you one nutritional balance diet and if you don't have that nutrition you can't grow your mind cannot grow the seed of employment jobs. Wherever I go I look in your city and find out where they're going they're going to have male heads of households or male the women program. Look where the jobs are going in the wind program to male heads of household.
We don't deal with those issues though. See it out and win is a way to get into the job or displaced homemakers this year. What did the government allocate to it what do we allocate to it Betsy. Twenty five thousand on nothing. The women's caustic caucus had to fight $90000 with displaced homemakers and I believe the Women's Caucus fought for the 19th out of my right. There was nothing the state put in nothing for displaced homemakers support support of systems for women childcare. One of the main objects for women to go to work especially single family heads of households in Massachusetts. The welfare rolls are predominantly women heads of households. How the hell are we going to put them to work we can't even give them daycare for their children. Supportive systems are not there to help women
get into the workforce. And the more we deal with those supportive services the more we understand why duty is. We need to help women to get to where they want to go. The more we're going to have to deal with public policy the more we're going to have to deal with the budget at budget time here in the state legislature so that we can get those kind of supportive services for women to help them get out into the job market even to get in on equal jobs. Even to get a state representative sonogram the Economic Justice Conference for Women coincided with Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden stop in Boston on their campaign for economic democracy. A persuasive tour arguing for more worker control over the economic decisions presently made by corporate and government leaders
Fonda stopped in to offer encouragement to the women at the economic justice conference and also sat down with Tom Hayden to talk with reporter Stephen DeRose. We're not a political party in the official sense of proclaiming ourselves that because frankly that's a big undertaking and we want to be modest and we want to use language to reflect reality. What we are is is something like a political party should be. That is we not only run candidates but we try to run them on a platform and we not only do that but we we insist that they try to introduce their platform when they're elected and we work on issues between elections not just an election time. And we have a children's camp and service centers and neighborhood organizing projects to try to help people with day to day problems. There is a much broader base of support for the kind of issues that we're talking about than there was in the 60s the so-called silent majority that was sort of written off
by Nexen has become my own hurt. Confused majority that that feels expendable and feels that it's being sat on by the huge response of government and a huge response of course if you're ocracy. My own view is that the issues that are before us corporate power inflation energy unemployment are issues that are so tangled and so controversial that they have to be defined and developed by a movement of the kind that Jane mentioned that pulls the politicians forward in the same spirit that there was an anti-slavery movement before there was an Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation Proclamation. It was a labor movement before there was a Roosevelt in the New Deal. I believe that candidates go where they feel the constituents are. We have won 17 elections in California the campaign for economic democracy has
in very conservative areas of California on these issues real out front and against a lot of money from the opposition and a lot of red baiting tactics. We've been confirmed in our beliefs that there is that there's a very large constituency for these ideas. During the first week of the tour. And if if that truth can can be impressed on the minds of the candidates then I think that they will speak to these issues and that they will that they'll be sensitive to those concerns. We have found only one or two questions a day about candidates out of maybe a hundred questions that we get out. James Reston wrote an article I think from here the other day in which he felt used. He seemed to find the same thing that there are people aren't ready to make up their minds about candidates they're confused and worried about these economic issues. And I think we're creating a forum in which. People have a chance to listen to some ideas and think about
them without the pressure of having to make up their mind yet about next year. Our approach is that since the establishment is out of ideas people are going to have to come up with them. What we're saying is solve the energy crisis by moving toward solar energy and renewable resources. Here it would be hydroelectric power. It would be wind. It would be wood and above all it would be conservation as called for in the Harvard Business Report on the energy future. And to avoid a depression we're saying if you make investments in alternative energy you will create jobs and you will stabilize prices and you will make it possible for an economic recovery. Those are the kinds of approaches that we've been taking and I think that they offer more promise than the empty traditional litany of of the establishment economic democracy activist Jane
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