Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wherein the UIC United Faculty Union demolishes one of my criticisms

A long, long while back, I criticized, at this link, a statement made by the union.*  That statement said in part, that some faculty (before the union contract) earned "less than they would if they were managing a McDonald's."**  At the time, I wrote, that the statement conveyed "a certain antipathy toward the type of people who work at McDonald's.  It's almost as if it is offensive that someone who works 'merely' at fast food or other customer service jobs might earn more than someone who does higher work."

But now, I read on the minutes from the UICUF's last representative assembly meeting on February 5, 2015*** that the attendees spoke with a delegation from "Fight for Fifteen," an organization that, apparently, seeks to increase the pay of fast food workers and other workers in Chicago (and perhaps elsewhere) to $15 per hour and to promote union recognition for such workers.  The union's Facebook feed contains a reference to a rally that those workers will hold in April. 

Whatever reservations I have about the UIC United Faculty Union, I support fast food workers' efforts to unionize.  And even if I didn't, I'd have to acknowledge that these statements of support--however modest they might be in the in the grand scheme--demonstrate more support for such workers than my prickly comments from over a year ago. 

So to the union:  Good Job!

*That link goes to a post in which I reproduced a letter I had written on February 8, 2014.  The letter itself is in PDF format, and what I quote above comes from page 9 of that document.

**That statement was part of the union's old website and therefore cannot be linked to.  I'll point out how that is one example in which the union has excised its public record.  One effect of dismantling its old website  is to erase potentially embarrassing statements such as the one I cite here.  That said, I do not claim that avoiding embarrassment is the main, or even a, reason for dismantling the site.  I don't know the reasons the union did so, and there may very well have been good reasons, about which I can only speculate, ranging (I suspect) from technical issues to legal problems with what the union may have said during the lead up to the contract ratification.  Whatever the reasons and however critical I may be of the decision, I believe the union was within its rights to dismantle its old website.

***That link takes you to the page the union devotes to meeting minutes.  From there, click on the link for the February 5, 2015 Representative Assembly Meeting.  It is a PDF document.

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