Friday, February 24, 2006

off to work we go

Hey, did you notice that the Unicco (maintenance) workers are voting on whether to strike? That’s cool. Not because I’m pro-labor but because Professor Seminar won’t cross picket lines so we won’t have class next Thursday! Woo-hoo!

Ok, I’m kidding, sort of. It’s true that he won’t cross the picket line and we won’t have class.

But I am glad this story is finally getting the attention it deserves. I was glad to see Shalala sent out an e-mail saying she’s setting up a ‘work group’ or something to study the issue. I’m not going to pretend I have been following all the details of this story, but I’m not sure that her promise to let the Unicco workers ‘attend classes and health fairs’ on campus will solve their problems. The answer is not that complicated and do not tell me for a minute that because the maintenance folks technically work for an independent contractor, not the university, that the school doesn’t have control over how much they are paid. If Shalala can raise $1 billion (yeah – billion – with a B) for this school, we can afford to give these people a living wage. Oh yeah, then there's the 29-foot boat she bought for herself, as the New York Times reported a couple of weeks ago.


At 1:25 PM, Blogger Bricklayer said...

Aren't you the one always complaining about the bathrooms at UM? What do you think will happen if the workers' strike is successful?

I'll tell you. You (we) will pay more for less. The campus won't be as well maintained and hardworking people will be out of jobs.

UM will use fewer workers, and/or the workers will work less. By giving a few a "living wage", two others will have "no wage". Or, they will just go work as day laborers for even less pay, riding around in the back of an unliscenced landscaper's pickup truck. This is South Florida, this is how it works.

Labor unions are evil.


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