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time you can go to the bathroom. If you have to go to the bathroom when it is not break, the supervisor sees you and he waits for you outside and when you come out he asks why you went in, what took you so long. Perhaps it is your period, you have to mess with the machine and you are tired and you must change clothes or perhaps it is diarrhea you have. But it is embarrassing to say this to the supervisor, so you just say you don’t know why it took so long and look dumb. And then he looks at you like … it is not good.” Telles said, “Oh yes, they are always watching. They press the women more, though. Some people don’t know how to defend themselves when they ask such questions. When they say to me, ‘What are you doing here, you supposed to be in your chair all the time during working hours,’ I could always say I was ahead on my quota, I have finished my quota so they have no need to complain of me. “But the bad thing was, what I was doing was trouble for the people around me. See, on the zipper stop machine, the quota was 180 a day in 1960 and the supervisor said, ‘If you do more, I’ll give you a raise.’ And so I did more, first 190 and then 200 and so on until 220. But that was way high, see. But they always made the quota more because I. could do that because I was young and wanted the raise. It put more pressure on the others. “I was unhappy at Farah for a long time before the union came,” said Telles. “I went to their meeting and they were only telling me what I already knew, but I couldn’t get it in my mind because I did not think that people would ever cooperate to change ‘it, I thought it was no use. But when I went to the union meeting, I thought, so, maybe they will cooperate. I work now from 6 to 6 to win this strike. I am on the committee. We are going to go all the way. I came out for a purpose and I will stick to that purpose. I even made a promise not to cut my hair until the strike is over.” EVERY LABOR dispute is distinguished by noticeable differences between labor and management as to just what constitutes the facts of the case. But in the case of the Farah strike, the differences cannot possibly be attributed to partial interpretation by the two sides. To read and hear the “facts” presented by management and strikers is simply to hold your head and moan. Somebody is lying. On certain very elementary questions of fact, for example, how much Farah workers are really paid, you can look at the strikers’ last paycheck stubs and check out their word. Management records are not available. There is a perfectly legitimate reason for the sometimes morbid secrecy that surrounds the Farah Mfg. Co. It is not simply because Willie Farah intensely dislikes the press. The men’s wear business is extremely competitive and fosters industrial spies and all manner of havey-cavey. A great deal of the machinery in the Farah plants is original parts are brought in and they build their own stuff: they don’t patent it for fear someone else will simply pay the patent fee and carry on they prefer to try to keep everything secret. According to company spokesmen, all this special, super-secret original machinery \(Farah is, indeed, a widely acknowledged industry leader in the fields of technology much-disputed quota question. Farah strikers and their sympathizers have come up with some grim-sounding quotas. For a long time, the company had no defense Grimaldi came up with the theory that the reason Farah workers could accomplish these incredible quotas was because of all that jim-dandy homemade machinery in the -plant that makes it just easy as pie to sew on 3,000 belts a day. Twenty-five bundles a day; 125 belts a bundle in an eight-hour day, you’d have to do better than six belts a’ minute: the women who do the work swear that five belts per minute is the maximum possible, super-duper machinery notwithstanding. You don’t make the quota, you don’t get a raise, ergo, nobody gets a raise and anybody who falls too far below the quota gets canned. 5 Woe betide you should you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of all this. Another special feature of the Farah strike is the happies. Farah has twice run full-page ads in the local paper allegedly signed by “8,000 happy Farah workers.” The last occasion for a “happy” ad was in response to Bishop Metzger’s speech to the strikers. THE BISHOP’S speech, originally made in Spanish, was mistranslated so that he was reported to have said that Farah workers were slaves, which he did. not, in fact, say \(copies of his speech are Farah workers” “signed” an open letter to the Bishop informing him that they were not enslaved “and our wages are better than those who are unionized in other factories.” In a somewhat incredible last graf, the letter announced, “Clergymen can make mistakes, either by misinformation or because of ignorance of true facts. One thing we all do know, and this is, God does not make mistakes. He knows all and He is just, so the workers of Farah feel confident that this situation will be resolved because He will help.” One man who was particularly exercised by this letter was Father Jesse Murioz, who happens to be the pastor of a huge \(25,000 98 percent of his parishoners are chicano workers and most of them are employed by Farah. Father Munoz sat down and counted all of those itty-bitty names on the ad signed by “8,000” Catholic Farah workers and found 2,310 names. What’s more, he found the same names on the previous ad from “8,000 happy Farah workers.” What’s more, he kept getting letters and phone calls from happies who were horribly upset at having their names used “to insult the Bishop.” Munoz’ happy parishoners swore to him they had no idea their names were to be used on the letter that appeared in the paper. At this point, in order to believe the company, it becomes necessary to assume that either the Bishop is lying -and/6i a lot of people are lying to the Bishop, and that Father Munoz stays up late at night forging lots and lots of letter froms happies. “All we are saying,” said Janzen, “is that the Bishop does not represent the opinion of the Catholic community. He is an elderly man who is not getting the pulse of the community.” Perhaps the pulse of which Janzen spoke is represented by -a middle-class Mexican-American whom we shall have to call Rodriguez. Rodriguez works for an Establishment establishment but he spoke with good faith. “Harassment, they claim,” he said of the strikers. “But it is they who are harassing the workers. They get people in on this who are not Farah workers at all, college kids, they say, ‘Come demonstrate with us and you will get all the beer you can drink, free.’ As for Mr. Farah not allowing the union election, if you have the majority behind you, why pay attention to the minority? He might have let them have an election if they had behaved differently, those union people. They say that time when there were many arrests that the strikers were dragged from their houses in the middle of the night. But this is not true. They came by themselves to the Courthouse that day to give themselves up, they were not dragged. “I know of one woman, a striker, who goes and gets $97 worth of food stamps and they say her husband has a job, a perfectly good job. And you know the union pays these strikers not to work? When you get down to the nitty-gritty of it. with them, really get down to the nitty-gritty of why they strike, they will tell you, ‘Why should we work?’ When we can get this money, why should we work?’ ” The last thing Rodriguez said was that he did not personally know any strikers nor had he ever talked to any. Father Munoz, down at the other end of town, is tuned into some other pulse. “In the beginning,” he said, “There was unrest over dismissals, over the rebuke of workers for union sympathies, this police state atmosphere with informers going to management with tales of who was pro-union. We feared a violent eruption, so bitter was the unrest. But the union helped and persisted in keeping the peace. At first December 29, 1972 5