Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    I am writing in regards to the Dec. 4 article by Ed Wu regarding the TA contract negotiations, titled “”Napster back in news, TAs ready to strike.”” I am appalled by the author’s ignorance. He claims that the right to strike for other unions (sympathy strikes) is a ludicrous demand that is inconsequential when compared to wages, health care and working conditions. However, has the author considered where these rights come from?

    Sympathy strikes encourage collaboration between unions to bargain collectively for improved wages, health care and working conditions. Without the right to have sympathy strikes, the student union will never get cooperation from the other unions on campus. If the university succeeds in eliminating sympathy strikes from all unions on campus, the university will have effectively broken the unions’ collective bargaining power.

    The TA union has set an excellent example by standing up for their right to bargain collectively, and I hope that other unions on campus will follow suit. If the student union can make mutual protection agreements with other unions on and off campus, they will significantly increase their bargaining power. I hope none of the readers that read Mr. Wu’s article were convinced that the TA union’s actions were “”ludicrous.”” The TA union stood up for a valuable right and they should get the respect they deserve.

    – Michael Roeder

    Teaching Assistant, Computer and Electrical Engineering Department

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