Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Nelson and Buck on the Importance of the GSOC Striggle

In insidehighered.com today, on the court date of those arrested for sitting down in the street on April 27, Cary Nelson and Jane Buck of the AAUP write about why they chose to get arrested with GSOC members. They provide a couple of reasons.

First, they point to the Republican NLRB reversal of our right to unionize and NYU's use of that as an excuse to avoid renegotiating a contract, even though nothing prevents them from doing so. Second, they point to the fact that university administrations across the country will look to NYU's example in choosing how to respond to graduate employees' quest for better working conditions--and until we win, they will chose to do so in ways "in ways the NLRB would consider flatly illegal in cases where it accepted jurisdiction." And this, to Nelson and Buck, will herald the beginning of a turn to even poorer working conditions in higher education than ever before. Nelson and Buck beleive that civil disobedience such as that engaged in by GSOC members in April is the necesary response to this trend.

Incidently, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported yesterday that GESO at Yale has been successful at convincing Yale to divest from the Corrections Corporation of America, a prison company accused of abusing inmates in its prisons. Yale, however, refuses to acknowledge GESO's role in this matter. (For those who don't have access to the Chronicle, coverage is also available at Reuters and The Yale Daily News.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Yale & divestment, the other explanation is that they sold high. This is common for such portfolios, once they made a certain amount of money on certain stocks they sell and invest in something else. Earlier this year Farallon (the hedge fund which Yale invests in), sold 2/3 of its CCA stock. At that point the stock was up 53.3% from when Farallon bought it. If appeasing activists was the goal why not sell it all at once?

The article you cite does not report, as you state, "GESO at Yale has been successful at convincing Yale to divest from the Corrections Corporation of America, a prison company accused of abusing inmates in its prisons." Rather it says, "Yale University’s Graduate Employees and Students Organization, a group enmeshed in a long-running labor dispute with Yale, is claiming victory for its effort to make Yale divest its endowment holdings in the Corrections Corporation of America, a prison company that has been blamed for alleged abuse of inmates."

It is an important distinction. Regardless, Yale's Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility has not changed its opinion on investing in companies like CCA.

5/24/2006 11:41 AM  

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