Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shared Sacrifice on 116th Street

According to the local student paper, my current employer is having a disagreement with some of its workers (pictured above). I was not at this rally, unfortunately. At least Suresh was, so the Slackwire community was represented.

So what's it about? Well, to borrow a line from Omar, the workers think they should keep the pensions and health benefits they get for doing their jobs, and the university thinks otherwise. Hardly the first time, right? But while employers everywhere can cut benefits, few can manage this kind of rancid liberalism:
Columbia’s proposed cuts are supposedly in the name of worker equality—the University cites similar “sacrifices” made by the non-unionized administrative and professional departments. ... Apparently, the union must also “fairly” take these unilateral cuts imposed upon the unprotected members of the Columbia labor community.
Who but a university administrator could explain with a straight face that they are only slashing the benefits of their clerical staff because of a high-minded concern for fairness and equity? Truly, it would take a President Robbins:
About anything, anything at all, Dwight Robbins believed what Reason and Virtue and Tolerance and a Comprehensive Organic Synthesis of Values would have him believe. And about anything, anything at all, he believed what it was expedient for the president of Benton College to believe. You looked at the two beliefs, and lo! the two were one.
The affected employees are members of UAW 2110. I used to run into 2110 President Maida Rosenstein now and then when I worked at the Working Families Party. And from everything I've seen of her and that union... well, if Columbia insists in inflicting a Comprehensive Organic Synthesis of Values on these workers, I think it may have a fight on its hands.

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