Sunday, October 12, 2003

In Labor News . . . Top California grocers hobbled by strike, lockout. What's happening in CA is not exactly the same as the situation here at the University of Minnesota, where clerical workers may strike as soon as October 21, but it is worthy of note that both grocery store employees in CA and University clerical workers in MN cite insurance concerns as the major issue employers have failed to adequately address in contract negotiations. This is generally true of the graduate student unionization movement and graduate student unionism , as well: when employers treat people with respect and dignity, things are pretty peaceful. When, on the other hand, the bottom line becomes more important than the health and welfare of workers, things turn sour. Now, for state and university employees, making any kind of demand is difficult: budget problems are a real concern for university administrations and state governments,and I don't think that any unionized employee is unaware of those circumstances. BUT budget deficits shouldn't be excuses to turn around and stick it to workers. As for me, I support the labor movement, and I support the supermarket employees and the clerical workers in their efforts to gain adequate health coverage and other benefits for themsleves and their families. Solidarity!

- posted by laurie @ 10/12/2003 01:38:00 PM
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