And so there I was, driving down Ponce de Leon last week, when lo and behold, what do I see? Another SEIU theatrical production calling itself a hunger strike.

And here I thought that tactic was for really big things. like getting the British to leave your country. But what is this voluntary denial of food all about? The card check process versus a National Labor Relations Board secret ballot. How exciting! The type of really passion-driven conflict that makes us all swoon with amazement.

Amusingly enough I noticed that on the hunger strike camping grounds, the so-called “Freedom City” (or more appropriately “Idiot Village”) there were signs stating that food was to be kept out of the “hunger strike area”.

A hunger strike area within a Hunger Strike city? Maybe there’s a science to this protest thing after all.

Or maybe not. Maybe it’s like chaos theory or something and it just all fell together like that. Yeah. And maybe it’s also not just really. STUPID!

According to the Miami Herald, eight students and eight “workers” were initially involved. How much would you wager that at least one of the three primary leaders of STAND is involved? The presence of television cameras makes that a pretty safe bet.

This is not going to work. You’re not going to shame the university into taking your side by hosting the kind of foolishness that the media love to gobble up, day after endless day. In the end, only three entities can resolve the issue over how the workers might unionize: UNICCO, the UNICCO workers, and SEIU. Period.

To keep blaming all of this on UM is just proof positive that SEIU and its subsidiary STAND have contrived all of this for the benefit of SEIU. Unfortunately for SEIU they haven’t been able to fully sell the idea of unionizing and therefore know they’d lose any vote that they can’t control it. They don’t have the votes, hence the necessity in their minds for the card check process.

I think the best way to handle this is to build a neighboring “city” just to the north of Idiot Village, a Ciudad del Almuerzo, if you will. I’m proposing for immediate action that as soon as humanly possible a massive barbeque festival be organized and set up to celebrate the founding of our city. Steak, ribs, corn on the cob, bottles and bottles of South American-bottled Coca Cola, 24/7. I mean who doesn’t like a good barbeque, Crawford, Texas-style?

And as that gloriously delicious aroma wafts through the air, the southbound Metrorail might just create enough air current to carry that lovely smell right into the heart of Idiot Village. It’s either that or we could possibly stage a sit-in lunch right in the middle of each “hunger strike area”. Maybe they’d call the hunger strike police.

After all, what are neighbors for?

Scott Wacholtz is a graduate student in the history department. He can be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu.

April 14, 2006


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.