effort to revive the Equal Rights Amendment. We also oppose the use of tax money to assist the ratification of an Equal Rights Amendment. OSHA 584 We continue to favor repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health support legislation exempting employers who employ a total of 750 man-days per quarter or less. Employers who violate the law should be given a warning for the first violation. We call upon OSHA to get out of the farm labor housing regulatory field, since such housing is not a workplace and is not covered by OSHA. OSHA should not issue any regulation unless there is an actual threat to the health and safety of employees. We will continue to work with federal agencies and with various safety groups in the development of reasonable safety regulations affecting farmers. We will provide leadership in the development of reasonable and responsible safety regulations at the national level. Wilderness areas 630 Experience has shown that the “no managment” concept applied to certain areas under the Wilderness Act of 1964 has resulted in the serious degradation of the resource. A preponderance of evidence has demonstrated that the removal of all man-made facilities has resulted in sanitation and health problems that threaten the values the Act was designed to preserve. Established wilderness criteria further threaten such areas by prohibiting the employment of power tools and vehicles in watershed management, trail maintenance, soil treatment, noxious weed control, waste manage ment and fire protection. For those reasons, and the fact that wilderness management is inconsistent with sound multiple-use principles, we oppose further expansions and urge reevaluation of all existing wilderness areas. However, a state Farm Bureau has the option to support federal legislation to minimize wilderness designations within that state. Any future wilderness proposals should not include buffer zones, and should be subject to environmental, social and economic impact analysis in addition to heavily weighted consideration of the views and land use plans of the residents in the affected locality and state. We recommend that any designated wilderness area \(including closed be reopened to the public and to multiple-use on the petition of a majority of local citizens and/or any local, county, or state government. . . General labor issues 644 We support enactment of laws that would mandate specific penalties for unions, union members and public employees that engage in illegal strikes, and prohibit the use of amnesty in such situations. A high standard of living is possible only through high productivity. We oppose work slowdowns, make-work, featherbedding, and impediments to the use of new technology that increases labor productivity . We favor repeal of the federal minimum wage. We oppose further extension of the minimum wage law for agriculture and any attempt to index the minimum wage. We call upon the Congress to amend the present Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage law or provide for a youth differential. . Farm labor 645 Farm Bureau should devise and carry out a long-range program of information to better inform the public about agricultural employ ment and correct widespread misconceptions about farm labor conditions. We call for investigation and exposure of federally funded migrant action programs whose primary purpose is to collectivize and control the migrant farm labor force, and we call to account the federially funded legal services programs that serve this objective. We uphold the right of farm workers to join or not to join a union by their own convictions. The Nationale Labor Relations agriculture in mind and was not designed to handle the unusual problems involved in producing crops and livestock. . . . Food stamps 667 We urge a complete reevaluation of the food stamp program by the Congress. More emphasis should be placed on evaluating applicants to be certain that only those who meet specific criteria qualify for the program. Public funds should not be used to commercially advertise food stamps. Definite spending limits should be placed on the total expenditures for food stamps. Items purchased by food stamps should be limited to the four basic food groups. Since primary and secondary school age food stamp recipients also qualify for free school lunches, we support the reduction of food stamps in families where children receive free lunches. We support the recommendation of the President’s Committee on Hunger to allow the states the option of accepting a bloc grant to administer the food stamp program in lieu of federal administration. Social SeCurity 668 The Social Security system is actuarially unsound. We support a freeze in Social Security benefits until Congress makeS basic reforms in the Social Security program. We prefer stabilizing benefits rather than an increase in Social Security taxes. Benefits must be based upon an individual’s contributions to the system. Any adjustment in Social Security berlefits should be based on a percentage of the annual decrease or increase in average wages. We oppose any proposal to finance Social Security retirement income benefits out of general revenues or to exempt low income taxpayers from paying Social Security taxes because of the level of their incomes. We support information programs to assist in the understanding that Social Security is, and is intended to be, only a partial fulfillment of retirement needs. . . . We recommend that the accumulated wage level of farm workers for Social Security deductions be increased from $150 to $1,000, and that the minimum days worked requirement be increased to 40 days. The accumulated income level ‘should be indexed to all future increases in the federal minimum wage. We recommended that full time students 17 years old and younger be exempted from Social Security withholding. . . . THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15
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