Maureen Morris, a packaging inspector at the huge Morton Salt mining complex on Weeks Island, La., got carted out of the union hall by the sergeant-at-arms when she rose to protest working conditions in June of 1972. “It was kind of embarrassing, and I just got mad,” remembers the blond 26-year-old in her strong Cajun accent.
Unloved by both the union establishment and the salt company—”My car was even set on fire,” she claims—Morris proceeded to bone up on both her union’s constitution and federal labor law. An ad hoc investigation of grievances among her fellow workers (there are 325, of whom 60 percent are black; only four are women) gained her a constituency. Last August she handily won election to the presidency of Local 29 of the International Chemical Workers—and the right to enter the mine itself.
Though she had grown up next to it and started above-ground work immediately after graduating from a Catholic girls’ high school, Maureen had never entered the 900-foot shaft in which her father had toiled for a lifetime. “The first time I went down I was scared to death,” she admits. She has returned frequently. Recently the federal Mining Enforcement Safety Administration rejected her findings of 10 serious safety hazards. Morris has sidestepped MESA and taken her complaints to court. “I want to do something before miners are killed.”
Glen Grunwald’s coach rates his 6’8″ forward worthy of an “all-planet” basketball dream team. Why not? Glen made “all-America” last year as a sophomore at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, a Chicago suburb. This year he scored 556 points—with 120 offensive rebounds and 190 defensive rebounds—leading his team to a 24-0 regular season. (The East Leyden netmen are currently wrangling their way through the state play-offs.)
Off the court, where his clutch-shooting skills require a double-team defense, the shambling 16-year-old is a surprisingly shy giant with considerably more upstairs than a shaggy haircut. A “B+” student, Glen does plan to play college ball—but in a school that offers a strong prelaw curriculum. Grunwald is already unofficially rated among the top 10 picks by college recruiters who may try to dissuade him from such serious study. But it’s hands off for now. Next year Glen’s back and East Leyden’s got him.