Perhaps because the University is not actually the party against whom the union is striking, the consensus seems to be that if there’s no actual picket line at your building, it’s OK to go in (and, I hope, to leave it if the strikers turn up later?). As there are only 450 or so workers in the would-be bargaining unit, and we have three large campuses, they can’t be everywhere. So it’s sort of strike roulette. I do find this odd: I know that at Yale we considered the campus off limits whether or not picketers happened to be in a particular place. Perhaps there’s some subtlety about secondary boycott law I’m missing here.
Or maybe it’s just the times: shortly before I left Miami, a colleague told me an awful story. He opened class on Monday with some remarks about how he would deal with the strike, and after a while some students put up their hands and said, in effect, “what strike?”. They had heard nothing about it. Then another student put up a hand and asked what this “picket line” thing was that he was talking about. It emerged that the student had never seen or heard of a picket line in his entire life. Not in the news, movies nor books. The labor movement is indeed in trouble.