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Union Update: Mediation on the Way

The College is going to ask for mediation in its next meeting with the SEIU union. That move means that the contract negotiation could drag on for a long while. You’ve gotta hand it to Earl Sweet; the man plays tough even though he’s only holding a pair of deuces. But he knows that his opponent has no nerve for a fight — my word, how awful the PR would be in the Huff Post if the union went on strike. Carol tosses and turns in her trundle bed at the thought. But at the same time, the rank and file know well that their alternative is to go out into the Upper Valley labor market, where their friends and neighbors make about half what they do for the same work — and those folks don’t get none of those long vacations neither.

Right on cue, the Students Stand With Staff group has put in an appearance, and The D duly reported on their recent demonstrations (“including rushing the field during Saturday’s Homecoming football game”). I am all for divergent opinions, even among Lenin’s useful idiots, but I can’t abide when people don’t research an issue before coming to an opinion about it. For students with high SAT’s, these kids don’t look smart. They should do their homework and see that they are fighting for the kings and queens of the local labor market. I imagine that once the SSWS crew finishes demonstrating, they repair to a Hanover eatery, where the dishwashers and cleaners make half what the staff does at the College. Do you call that social justice?

SSWS logo.jpg

Interestingly, The D pointed out that SSWS is a tiny outfit: “Students Stands With Staff consists of approximately 15 ‘core members,’ and 30-40 other students subscribe to the group’s emails” — out of a total of 4,194 undergrads. Who’s the 99% here?

Dartmouth students aren’t fooled, and to their credit they let the SSWS folk know it. In The D’s piece, SSWS member “Allison Puglisi ‘15 … noted that students often react negatively to the organization’s demonstrations,” and her comrade Eli Lichtenstein ‘13 observed, “We are met with indifference, or even outright hostility most of the time.”

As well they should be.


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