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Surely they jest When workers strike for higher pay and benefits, management is wont to suggest unctuously that labor is out to gouge the consumer, but Big Oil’s response to the January 8 strike by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union has been even more slippery than usual. A spokesman for Shell Oil, whose profits for the first nine months of 1979 were up 28 percent from the same period the year before, recently told .the Houston Post: “Things really haven’t changed that much from last year. The [wage] guidelines and the energy crisis are still with us. Everybody has .to make a sacrifice, from the oil companies to the. consumers.” We’re sure the members of OCAW would be.glad to settle for a sacrifice like the one Shell made last year. Mini-Hatch Act With city elections coming up on January 19, Dallas police and fire men have attacked in federal court a municipal ordinance that strips city employees of the right to participate in local politics. The ordinance prohibits city employees, whether they act individually or collectively, from campaigning for or endorsing council or mayoral candidates, and the Dallas Police Association and Dallas Professional Fire Fighters Association say the ban violates their First Amendment rights of political expression. The city attorney’s office argues that the law protects employees from machine-style political coercion by higher-ups, and in a preliminary ruling on January 3 U.S. District Judge Robert Hill bought that argumentin part. Hill refused to enjoin enforcement of the ordinance but also said he was “troubled” by the city’s “prohibition of private, voluntary contributions to City Council candidates by individual policemen and firefighters.” Kenneth Molberg, attorney for the police and firemen, has asked the judge to take a closer look at these restraints on private political activity, and it appears that the Dallas business establishment may have to swallow a further ruling that city employees are also citizens and taxpayers with a right to be heard. But the ban on group endorsements and fundraising will most likely stick, forcing city employees to do what one disgruntled Dallas union organizer called “a tap dance around the law.” Meanwhile Dallas business associations and their political action committees operate under no similar constraint. Restaurant & Bar 3010 Guadalupe Austin, Texas. No. 1 303 E. First No. 2 311 E. First King of Mexican Foods MATT’S EL RANCHO RESTAURANTS, INC. Serving the best Mexican food in the world Always good Owner: MATT MARTINEZ Austin, Texas Cocktails at both locations II lib e rt y l un ch Austin’s only open-air dance floor is now open every day and night for live music and homestyle meals. Come enjoy our laid-back tropical garden atmosphere. Fine wines & beers 405 West Second Street 477-0461 DON’T BOTHER TO CALL . . . late dining service until midnight for plotters and schemers and the best Gumbo in town C *AMtr,* T NTENTS 12 11 THE TEXAS OBSERVER Alt -v. 4* IGIN TUIR 13 io