Crime, Unions, etc.

Richard Swerdlin swerdlin at GTE.NET
Wed Aug 20 07:00:45 MDT 1997

> From: John Bush <jbush at POST.CIS.SMU.EDU>
> Subject: Re: Crime, Unions, etc.
> Date: Tuesday, August 19, 1997 11:31
> On Mon, 18 Aug 1997, Richard Swerdlin wrote:
> >         The above also applies to various white-collar situations.  The
> > Ohio Education Association did well to investigate problems in that
> > It was interesting how the Cincinnati ISD thought elementary women
> > should leave after a given month of pregnancy.  Apparently the sight of
> > bulging belly would have been too much for pupils to take.  The OEA
> > differently.  Let the teacher make the decision to resign.  The same
> > district tried to discourage handicapped teachers from working.  In one
> > case it was a matter of a teacher minus a few fingers.  In court
> > the disrict was unable to show that pupils would be shortchanged by
> > than "normal" physical conditions.
> >
> Bull.  The courts would have ruled that way regardless of the union
> status of the teacher.  And that was my original point.  As another
> message stated, the only thing unions are concerned with is there own
> survival.  They don't care what they were created for--anything that
> might allow them to survive, is what they will do.  They moved in
> direct opposition to union members desires with regards to the
> anti-republican campaign last year--but they needed Clinton in the
> Whitehouse more than they needed to support their members.

        Groups form in the US to promote various causes, one of which is
their own survival.  This phenomenon is not confined to a single class in
our culture.  Groups can be informal too.  In Cincinnati there were
informal meetings in efforts to fix minimum prices on Chevrolets, as I
found out by chance in shopping for one.

        The concern you express for union members estranged from union
leaders resembles crocodile tears.  As I said earlier, unions can scarcely
survive, if this gap is not reduced.  As you indicated, membership may be
down to 15 percent of workers.  It may diminish further.  However, it is
also possible that membership will rise.  The future is hard to predict.

        Court decisions do not exist in a social vacuum.  Marshalling
opinion is useful in promoting more reasonable interpretations of statutes
or customs.  The Ohio Education Association has promoted the fair treatment
of teachers, including situations such as the ones regarding Cincinnati.
During my membership in OEA, I recall said organization informing members
that legal advice was available in Columbus, regarding any situation of
relevance.  Having served on one or two grievance committees, there was an
assortment of questionable practices in Ohio, that came to my attention.

        The anti-union stance does not enjoy the support you apparently
think it has.  This is said in looking at overall election results and
actions in Congress.  This is not surprising, since there is usually a gap
between rhetoric and votes on election day.  Further, where was the Great
Mandate regarding the Great Contract with America?  Even Newt Gingrich
knows better, based on his extended experience in Washington.  The First
Hundred Days did not interfere with my respiration or that of my neighbors.
 It may have made points however with public speaking teachers.  Perhaps
Gingrich really meant the First Thousand Days.  Social aritmetic is more
treacherous than the more academic kind.

        Opinion polls suggest that there was greater support for IBT than
UPS in the recent dispute.  I have no particular or vested interest in this
figure, since I am neither a union member or a user of UPS (several years
ago I used it just once).

Richard Swerdlin
(swerdlin at

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