To the Editor:

I was very surprised that Tuesday’s article (“Union roots run deep in Elm City,” 12/5), which claimed to describe the history of union relations at Yale, did not mention a 9-week-long strike in 1971 that illustrated the true motivations and character of Yale unions.

The 1971 strike, led by then-new union boss Vincent Sirabella, featured unions crippling the University and publicly embarassing Yale at every turn. What readers might be very interested to know is that in the 1971 strike, the unions demanded that Yale admit fewer financial aid applicants and offer fewer work-study jobs to students, for fear that poor students would take jobs away from local union workers.

Unions’ cries that they care about Yale and the students here are an illusion. The unions do everything they possibly can to embarass this fine institution, no matter what that means for Yale’s reputation and ability to succeed as a world-class university.

What is worse is that the unions have historically held antagonistic attitudes toward Yale students.

So before my fellow undergraduates cozy up to the friendly neighborhood union boss, I hope they consider whose interests he has in mind: the union workers’ or theirs?

Yevgeny Vilensky ’03

December 4, 2001

The writer is the president of the Committee for Freedom.