LaborLab has obtained an email sent from MIT Chancellor Melissa Nobles and Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz to organizing graduate students. The email repeats generic anti-union talking points, which is typical of union-busting campaign's cookie-cutter tactics.
Graduate students at MIT are currently organizing for better working conditions with the support of UE.
The email from Nobles and Waitz uses canned anti-union messaging developed by the union-busting industry. They are the messaging tactics we see in ever single union-busting campaign. Why? Because the union-busting industry is run by uninspired hacks who use the same dirty tricks wherever they go. Examples of union-busting tactics used in the email to graduate students include:
- "Unionization would swap a collaborative, flexible model serving all graduate students for a rigid approach involving a third party that will represent only a portion of our graduate student body." FALSE: unions are democratically run organizations that allow workers to empower themselves instead of depending on the temperament of their employer.
- "These proceedings, which required MIT to provide the UE and the NLRB with certain information about our graduate students..." This is a classic. The employer tries to frame a union as an invasive entity, which is rich considering its the workers themselves trying to from a union. The hypocrisy of this argument should not be lost on anyone. The union-busting industry has a long history that extends into the present of spying on and intimidating workers, their friends, and their families.
- This is probably the most offensive part of the email: "Collective bargaining is a process that can be slow-moving, and it’s often contentious. In fact, in all cases involving graduate student unions at private universities, one to four years have elapsed between a unionization vote and a ratified first contract. In many cases, strikes along the way have interrupted students’ progress toward their degrees." The reason collective bargaining can be slow after a successful organizing drive is BECAUSE of union-busting. In fact, it's a favorite tactic used by union-busters: delay, deflate, defeat. We're honestly shocked Nobles and Waitz just came out and said what they plan on doing in order to break the union.
MIT has been added to LaborLab's Union-Busting Tracker. If you're interested in letting Chancellor Nobles and Vice Chancellor Waitz know that you support the freedom to join together in unions, you can email them at [email protected] and [email protected]
This report was published on March 10,2022
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