Opinion

On UNICCO: “I deserve that!” “Well, how’d you earn it?”

Something needs to be said about the UNICCO strike and its relation to the law of supply and demand. The workers that are striking, and the professors that have signed a letter of support, obviously do not understand this law. Supply and demand not only apply to economics, but they also apply to the value of labor and often determine wages.

As human beings, especially in an open-minded nation like the U.S.A., we often let sympathy alter our vision of what is fact and what is fiction. The fact of the matter with the current UNICCO problem is that there is no specific reason supporters of the workers can point to and say, “This is why they have earned more money.” The desire for a “living wage” by workers and supporters is irrelevant. Show me what you or they have done to constitute higher wages.

Oftentimes, when workers request larger wages they have normally: 1) gained a new skill which makes their labor more valuable and enables them to perform new tasks or 2) there is a lack in supply of workers in that worker’s respective field. To my knowledge, there has not been a great advancement of human skill on the part of the UNICCO workers when it comes to sanitizing facilities and landscaping. And anyone who believes there is a lack of humans that can perform the tasks UNICCO workers perform is an absolute fool. Please remember that ability to perform a task and desiring to perform one are different.

The most important issue of the UNICCO problem is this: There is an enormous supply of humans that can clean and landscape. Because of this fact, UNICCO workers do not receive much compensation. Furthermore, they should not receive much. They are easily replaceable. This is why the managers at UNICCO make more than the your average Joe that refills the paper towels. This is why a mechanical engineering major will make more than a psychology major his/her first years of work. This is why a coach is more valuable than a water boy. The less of a desired commodity there is and the more difficult it is to become or achieve that commodity, the more valuable the commodity is.

And a word or two for the supporting professors: Define hypocrisy. You, the most specialized of the specialized, the ones posting your doctorate degrees in pretty wooden frames, the most devout academics in our country, you are supporting an increase in wages of humans that haven’t earned it?! Heard of [a v -a]? The Ph.D.s at UM have spent multiple, grueling years of mental work in order to be where they are today. Would you not be irate to learn that people who never earned Ph.D.s were simply being given the degrees? Sure, some of you think UNICCO workers have earned this “living wage.” E-mail me please and inform me how they have earned it. One has to earn something before one deserves it. Would you give me a grade because I have hungry children at home if it would help them?

So when you are making your decision to support this strike or refuse to do so, please remember one of the main reasons you are getting (or already received) your degree: to separate yourself from the other six billion people on this pale blue dot, to be able to rely on something other than skills that any able bodied human possesses, to be something other than ordinary.

Joe Baxter is a senior majoring in philosophy. He can be contacted at j.baxter@umiami.edu.

March 3, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

New technology could help schools identify shooters and other intruders before they enter the door. ...

A University of Miami professor has created software to detect fraud in standardized tests. ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Students attending Monday night's State of the U address by UM President Julio Frenk offer thei ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.