[Marxism] Ward Churchill case
Louis R Godena
louisgodena at ids.net
Mon Jul 24 09:55:03 MDT 2006
Well, turnabout is fair play. I'm not a professor, yet went on to give
tenure short shrift. Mark is not a craftsman (well, he is in one sense, but
not in the vein in which we are now speaking), but goes on to say so and so
about craft unionism. Much of what he says is true, but most of it is not.
There is no "tenure" among 95% of unionized craftsmen. The employer simply
will not pay those kinds of wages to people who are not worth their salt.
Nor are there paid holidays. Nor paid vacations. Nor monies to attend
far away seminars or professional conventions. Union officials get often
generous travel allotments, etc., but this far beyond the reach of the
rank-and-file. In short, you are paid for the time you are on the job
producing for the employer. That's it.
Nor is there longevity, which is really the crux of tenure. People are for
the most part rewarded for showing up for so many years, becoming
politically connected, and going along with whatever the senior professors
and the administration deem proper. On the other hand, I know many, many
skilled sheetrockers, foundation men, millwrights, framers, and finish
carpenters who, upon reaching the age when the tenured were contemplating
retirement, were summarily laid off with the phone call to the business
agent saying "I can't use this guy; he can't hang eighty sheets of rock a
day anymore. Send me someone else." That's it. There's no "reward" for
twenty, thirty, or fifty years of service. In effect: You're too old. Get
the fuck out. That's the fate of 95% of "labor aristocrats" in the trades.
Now, no one is arguing (at least, I'm not) that that is right, especially
under capitalism. But, then, neither is the tenure system as it is
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Lause" <MLause at cinci.rr.com>
To: "'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition'"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 11:07 AM
Subject: RE: [Marxism] Ward Churchill case
> Yes, the tenure system is regularly and mercilessly abused, as are the
> privileges of craft unionism.
> In both cases, it's a question of whether the society needs and respects
> skills/crafts or not. If it does, it's willing to reward the long years
> study and the prolonged underpaid apprenticeship. People who don't get
> privileges become understandably resentful.
> Also as with craft unionism, the jobs are politically awarded. This is
> of what makes these areas relatively conservative.
> So, too, as with craft unionism, employers are repeatedly trying to wear
> down the quality of the product they are pretending to sell and trying to
> find ways to deliver less trained and more shoddy services by people who
> lower pay, but whose work is sold by the employer for ever higher prices.
> At this stage, the abolition of the privileges will be no gain for the
> working class generally.
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