Tuesday, June 21, 2005

it's all about relationships

zweichenzug over at The Bellman wrote a very thought provoking post about the grad student unionization issue, the main point (to me anyway) of which was that it's dangerous to talk about grad students as being different from, say, migrant farm workers, because they are "knowledge workers" and not laborers, because doing so ignores the fact that their work is being commodified just as much as the pickers'. it's also a class thing. i am guilty of doing this myself and need to think about it some more.

in the meantime, while i think about that, here's an excerpt from an email i got from Jacob Lew, Executive Vice President of NYU, and David McLaughlin, Provost (can't find the full text online -- i'll put up a link once i do):
At the same time, many members of our community have expressed deep reservations about the impact of the collective bargaining framework on our academic programs. These reservations include the difficulty of reconciling a non-academic intermediary between faculty mentor and student, and the introduction of the one-size-fits-all approach – traditional in the labor context –into a University that values distinctive scholarship and prides itself on the diversity of its graduate programs.
and here's a statement by Wal-Mart on unions (lifted from this article):
Wal-Mart's statement on unions:
At Wal-Mart, we respect the individual rights of our associates and encourage them to express their ideas, comments and concerns. Because we believe in maintaining an environment of open communications, we do not believe there is a need for third-party representation.

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