Worker strike: justice, or insanity?

I saw the crowd. I got angry. What was this protest about? What did the protestors expect to achieve?

The protest was about the University recognizing the card ballot that UNICCO workers used to vote SEIU as their union. UNICCO, as is their legal right, requested that another vote be taken by secret ballot to ensure that SEIU was not pressuring workers.

An SEIU representative at the protest said that the law concerning union elections is wrong because a secret ballot election takes too long. If the law is wrong, then whose problem is it? THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! What is this protest doing at the University? Is SEIU expecting the University to back a process not sanctioned by the law?

This whole effort reeks of insanity. The workers were yelling (in Spanish), “Justice! Now!,” “What do we want? Justice!” Guess what? UM does not control the Nation Labor Relations Board. The SEIU representative wanted Shalala to tell UNICCO to recognize the card ballot. Or what? UM will cancel the contract? Then all the workers would be out of jobs!

UNICCO workers said they wanted respect-they have lost all of it from me. While I’m writing this, I have a friend inside the admissions office. It is morally wrong for workers and SEIU to support students throwing away opportunities because UNICCO workers don’t have any. It’s petty and selfish.

In disgust, I turned to the crowd and shouted (in Spanish), “This is not justice! This is insanity!”

Dan Ohrenstein


March 31, 2006


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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