Unions’ demand for fairness a legitimate request

To the Editor:

I appreciate the focus on labor issues at Yale in last week’s issues of the Yale Daily News. I graduated during the last period of labor unrest on campus and felt as though I was forced in a very real way to choose between communities that I felt connect

The more I thought about it, though, the less hopeful I became.

Despite the new tone the Yale administration is taking, I suspect it is just a gloss. As much as I would like to believe it to be sincere, I find I cannot.

Instead, I expect the administration will follow a more familiar path.

It will start off all smiles and explain patiently to the Yale community — as though to a 6-year-old — why the unions’ proposals are impossible. I expect the administration to count on divisions between groups of workers, and most importantly, I expect the administration again to try to manipulate students by wielding its very real power over them and by burying students — and alumni, of course — in reams of propaganda, designed not to convince, but just to keep us confused, guessing and on the fence.

From the News’ coverage, it seems as though the sticking point in talks — if indeed there will be a sticking point — will be over something very simple: fairness.

The unions seem to be seeking merely an established, fair, expedient process for determining whether other workers can belong to a union. And if they do indeed fight this, the Yale administration would show that — once again — they underestimate the resolve, determination and solidarity of workers, as well as the insight of committed students.

I hope that my predictions are wrong, and that I will read in the News soon of a peaceful settlement. But I won’t hold my breath.

Jon Zerolnick ’96

December 11, 2001


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