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VOL. XIX, No. 16
TWo out of three ain't bad! Central
State wins NAIA Division 1 again.
? Dawson says his ' client
awns most of By ers' land
By SHERIDAN HELL
Chronicle Assistant Editor
; ~ : A local attorney has taken issue with a Dec. 3
Chronicle article about a black family whose land
ownership is being disputed.
Clay Dawson represents Winifred Speaks, who
; says she owns most of the land Betty Conrad Byers
has lived on for 71 years.
. ; Dawson said the article made it appear that Byers
and her son, Ali Shabaaz, were victimized because
they are black.
; "Poor black people are victimized, but this man
(Shabaaz) is using that as a cloak," Dawson said. "In
. ; this case, Mrs. Speaks has had her rightSi taken from
! her, and that has diminished all of us. Ajjfhether it's
Mrs. Speaks or Mrs. Byers, we all have the same
- Speaks says Byers* driveway runs through her lot
in Wedgewood Estates development Speaks says she
* owns most of the two acres that Byers believes Byers
Clay Dawson, Speak's attorney, said there is no
question about his client's ownership.
"The plain fact of the matter is Mrs. Speaks has a
clear and superior title to the property. Mrs. Byers
probably owns two acres. They're just not the same
two acres Mrs. Speaks owns."
Forsyth County deeds show Byers' title dates
back to 1910. But Dawson said Stokes County records
prove Speaks' ownership predates Byers' title. He said
he researched Speaks' title back to" the 1860s, when
the land was then in Stokes County.
Keith Tart, an attorney with Womble Carlyle San
dridge and Rice, said he began representing Byers in
Please see page A14
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Race a Factor 7
A Walser wants his job -
in Winston-Salem back
By MARK R. MOSS
Chronicle Staff Writer
Recent developments involving a dismissal, a
demotion and allegations of racism have produced
vacancies in the top two positions at Forsyth County's
Although two of the three men responsible for
filling those positions disagree on a timetable,* the
back room process for appointing the candidates is
already underway. An interim chief of Juvenile Ser
vices, who is white, is on the job. The other position,
supervisor of court counselors, will likely remain
vacant until the top job is permanently filled, said a
The Chronicle reported on Sept. 17 . ("Officials
say Black Youth Trapped") that each of the 11 coun
selors in Juvenile Services handles about SO cases.
Out of the 628 cases under supervision by the court
counselors, ever half - 372 - involve black youths.
One of those interested in the top job of chief
court counselor is Dave Speas, a juvenile court coun
1 sslorwilh 16 yuri nf mywiinnin Spif in blMilf
"I have applied for the position and consider
myself well-qualified for it," said Speas, who has a
masters degree in guidance counseling from A&T
State University. Speas is the senior staff member.
The staff has iw supervisor He said he wasn't sure of
his chances, and didn't know much about the process
because "this situation hasn't arisen before."
The vacancies did not occur during Speas' tenure
because the Rev. Horace Walser held the supervisory
position and at times served as acting chief throughout
most of the reverend 's 26 years with Juvenile Ser
Walser was demoted in late August from supervi
sor to court counselor and transferred to Lexington
because of rules he was accused of violating. Shortly
before his demotion, which still "bums" him up, Jim
Please see page AS
Guatemalan Describes Abusive Conditions In U.S. Plants
A Workers make $2 a
day for twelve hours
By SHERIDAN HILL
Chronicle Assistant Editor
To an American chief executive, a "maquiladora" is
a special export factory that offers cheap labor and spe
cial tariff perks, allowing U.S. companies to compete
against foreign companies.
To 30,000 Guatemalan workers, a maquiladora is a
U.S. -owned sweatshop where workers, many of them
teen-age girls, work 12-hour days for $2 a day.
According to a Guatemalan woman who visited
Winston-Salem last week, many of the women are sexu
ally abused and discriminated against
Olga Marina Rivas told of working conditions in
U.S-owned factories in Guatemala City~
Jane Albredfit, a Wake Forest professor, sat beside
Rivas and interpreted her tale last week, as Rivas
explained why she is attempting to organize women
workers in Guatemala City.
"As womeft, they are discriminated against," Rivas
said. 'They are paid less than men. If they get pregnant,
they lose their jobs. So they try not to get pregnant.
That's an invasion of their privacy/*
She charges that sexual abuse is common.
"I know many woman who were forced to have sex
with their bosses," she said. "Some of them lost their
jobs because they refused to have sex with their bosses."
She said most of the managers are white. Rivas, like
many Guatemalans, is of mixed Spanish/Indian heritage.
Workers are not given gloves or masks or ear plugs,
said Rivas. Workers suffer from insufficient ventilation
and poor lighting in the maquiladoras.
The Rev. John Mendez has traveled to many Central
American countries and met with Rivas while she was
here. He supported many of her statements about work
"It's a horror story in itself, what the U.S. has done
in Central America. And I'm talking about what I've
seen myself," he said.
Rivas said thaMjjraquiladoras are exempt from
Guatemala's labor .laws, leaving the workers at the mercy
of the company. Because the main operation of
maquiladoras is garment assembly, they are also exempt
from paying most taxes. ? ^
'There is no benefit to my country," she said.
Certainly, U.S. workers whose jobs are going to
" They don't know
their bosses don't
have the right to
- Olga Marina Rivas
Guatemala are not benefiting from the arrangement. A
1992 report sponsored by the National Labor Committee
in Support of Worker and Human Rights in Central
America said 30 U.S. apparel manufacturers have shifted
production to Central America in the past two years. At
the same time, 58 U.S. plants have shut down, and
1 2,000 workers have been laid off.
Rivas co-founded a group called Guatemalan
Women's Group in Support of the Family. As a method
of organizing the women, she visits them at home and
shows them government publications that describe their
rights as workers.
"They do not know they have the right to be paid the
same as men for the same job," she said. 'They don't
know their bosses don't have the right to mistreat them."
Only about 5 percent of workers in
Guatemala City are in unions. Organiz
ing workers in the U.S. or Guatemala
can result in being blacklisted ? but in
Guatemala it can also endanger one's
life. Rivas said union leaders receive
death threats from the government.
Asked how they know it is the govern
ment, she answered, "Who else could it
be? They are intimately related to the
factory owners. 1 live in constant fear.
But still, I go on."
During her 10-day tour, Rivas trav
eled across North Carolina, meeting with textile and
poultry workers. In Rocky Mount, she met with Black
Workers For Justice.
Interfaith Council Active In Labor Effort
Olga Rivas' trip to the United States was sponsored
by the Carolina Interfaith Task Force on Central Amer
Several spokesmen for U.S. garment manufacturers,
who asked not to be named, said the visit is a union orga
nizing effort sponsored by Amalgamated Clothing and
Textile Workers Union. But Gail Thares, who founded
the interfaith group ten years ago, disagreed. * *
"I have no connection with labor unions here," she
said. "We just figured that people like Olga should have
contact with people here who are being displaced by jobs
that are going to Guatemala." ^
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