Settle in for a Long Haul?

Picketline blog reports that the national SEIU has raised half a million dollars for the UM strike fund. And promises that much again if needed.

This sounds to me like a very strategic development in that it means the strikers are unlikely to fold soon. My solar-powered calculator suggests that $500,000 is enough to support the entire would-be bargaining unit at $7.50 for 40 hours a week for almost four weeks. And if UNICCO is right that only 25% of the employees are actually not showing up for work (presumably the only ones eligible for strike pay), that means we should multiply that times four, which carries us well into the summer. And that’s not even considering the other donations they may have received, or the possibility that strike pay may be less than 100% of lost wages.

UNICCO’s latest line is that everything should be on hold until Shalala’s committee issues its report. While the committee report certainly offers a face-saving way for the University to get out of this mess, and I hope it takes it, from its make-up this isn’t a committee which looks very independent of President’s office, nor one that has any great history of pro-worker sentiment. Rather the contrary, so while I’m hopeful, I’m also not that confident.

Meanwhile, other than the obvious facts that (1) card-check elections are more likely to result in a union than NLRB-managed elections, and (2) both sides say the method they dislike is too easily manipulated by the other side, and (3) the apparent fact that UNICCO has allowed card-check elections elsewhere, but doesn’t want want here for some reason, is there anyone who can point me to a discussion of the merits and demerits of card check vs. elections as a fair means of measuring what workers actually want?

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