What exactly are the unions holding out for?

To the Editor:

Given the struggling national economy and the recent layoffs by the state of Connecticut, Yale’s workers should eagerly accept the package currently on the table. Yale’s offer of annual 4 percent and 3 percent raises for the clerical and service unions, respectively, on top of immediate average increases of 14.3 percent and 9.3 percent, in addition to job security unparalleled in the region, is more than competitive. Yet the concepts of supply and demand mean nothing to locals 34 and 35, who insist that Yale draw down its endowment to set the market wage. Union leaders brainwash workers and intimidate them into striking, arguing that Yale is capable of more than other employers, and that they deserve more than what the market pays similarly qualified people elsewhere. It is a privilege to have a job and benefits in such a poor economy, a privilege some Yale seniors will lack come May. It is also a privilege to have a pension, not to have to fall into a higher tax bracket because you make all your money during your working years, the way an independent barber or other small businessman does. Until the union lessens its demands substantially or mass union resignations render it powerless, Yale should continue to subcontract and allow the deadwood minority to remain on strike. The unemployment rate is too high for unions to demand so much.

Ellen Jacobson ’04

September 12, 2003

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