The Multinational Monitor


G L O B A L   N E W S W A T C H

Dow Pushes Reaganomics On Its Workers

Dow Chemical Corporation recently gave employees a lesson in political participation. In two separate letters sent to Dow workers in March, company officers lauded President Reagan's economic plan and urged employees to support it, too. A letter to Michigan Division employees, written by Bob Caldwell, general manager of the division, stated: "I think it's time we got the pendulum swinging in the other direction. We must balance the budget and have less government."

Another letter, printed in house organs Dow Today and The Point Is and posted on Dow bulletin boards throughout the world, read: "Those of us in the U.S. have (an) important responsibility. And that is to let our elected federal representatives know our personal views on the critical decisions they will soon make. Obviously, we hope your personal views coincide with ours and we urge you to make your views known. Letters from constituents do make a difference." The letter was signed by P.F. Oreffice, chairman of the executive committee and chief operating officer, and by two executive vice presidents.

"That's almost making a dictatorship out of things," responded Charlie Groulx, an electrician in Dow's Michigan division, when asked for comment. Dow is "asking their employees to surrender body and soul to the U.S. President."

Groulx pointed out that Dow workers may see things differently from Dow management for good reasons. "Some of the budget cuts are aimed at the services we, the employees, need," he said.

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