The Multinational Monitor



Baseball error?

To the Editor:

Your August 1982 cover story on baseballs made in Haiti was a sound expose of a seldom-mentioned example of further exploitation of foreign workers by U.S.-based multinationals.

But the final paragraph leaves the wrong image. It's wrong to compare the exploitative wages of the Haitian workers with the salaries of baseball players. Regardless of what you might think of the high baseball salaries, the fact is that the players are not the ones who accepted the 10-year contract Rawlings inked with Duvalier.

The major league owners are the ones who signed the Rawlings contract, fully aware of the exploitation of Haitian workers and not caring one bit so long as it creates super-profits.

The baseball players are workers, too. Remember these same profit-greedy baseball team owners forced them to strike last year because the players were demanding a share of the profits they rightly deserved.

Let's not pit workers against workers, let's call it like it is. George Steinbrenner and his cohorts could easily stop the exploitation of Haitian workers by simply telling Rawlings they will no longer buy baseballs that aren't made by unionized workers receiving decent union wages, benefits and protections.

The players have no say in the matter. They are forced to play with whatever baseball the owners choose to buy.

- Michael Funke

To the editor:

I received the issue of Multinational Monitor with the cover story on Haitian workers being exploited by Rawlings (MM, August 1982). The closing comment in the article I felt was entirely inappropriate. The author asserted that every time we watch a baseball game, we should remember that Haitian women must work four days to earn what baseball players make in 40 seconds.

It is essential to remember that Dave Winfield or Carl Yastrezemski are not exploiting the women in Haiti. It is the managers and stockholders who run and own Rawlings that are benefiting from the $2.70 per day wages. Let's not pin a guilty verdict on baseball players for decisions they are hard-pressed to affect. Corporate executives earn similar wages to sports stars, but are compensated according to their ability to exploit the labor force, something team owners do to ballplayers.

Keep up the good work. I like the Exxon T-Shirts.

- Richard Miller

Free samples

To the editor:

As a Brazilian, I feel that sometimes it is an exercise of masochism to read the facts that you report! It takes a good stomach to read about the recent episode of the Council of the Americas (MM, June 1982). My sincere congratulations to Robert Holden!

- Carlos Stopa

P.S. I would like to send Multinational Monitor to some institutions in Brazil. Could you tell me who is already receiving the magazine in Sao Paulo city?

Note to readers:

If you know of any people or groups that you think would like to see a copy of Multinational Monitor, just send us their names and address, and we'll give them a free issue. - The Editor

To the editor:

I'm very involved in a support committee on Central America & Peace, since my son was in the Peace Corps for three and a half years in El Salvador and Honduras and just got out. Your articles in June, 1982 on "Corporate Officials Embrace Latin Dictators" and many others were very revealing. I will show them to some in the committee.

Your magazine has material that no one else has. Thank you.

- Mrs. Joy Hintz

P. S. I would like to urge you to send a copy to the CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) office in Washington and to the Nicaragua support offices.

To the editor:

I am a subscriber to your publication. Recently I was in Guinea Bissau talking with the director of the radio station and he is interested in receiving information such as you publish for use on his programs. I am wondering if you could send him a few copies of the Monitor. If I could afford it, I would subscribe for him as it would seem that of all the people who should get such information, opinion-makers in the so-called Third World should! !

- Dr. B.E. Harrell-Bond

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