DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 383
DAYS UNTIL THE START OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR: 32
Thanks to everyone who made it out to the Labor Coalition’s screening of the movie Bread and Roses yesterday, about the Janitors for Justice campaign in L.A. The movie’s title (and the title of today’s post) comes from a poem published in The American Magazine by James Oppenheim and became commonly known and associated with the 1912 Lawrence, Massachusetts strike at a textile mile that united immigrant workers in their fight for fair wages and dignified conditions. This strike was led mainly by women and after three months they won pay increases, time-and-a-quarter pay for overtime, and a promise of no discrimination against strikers. The cry of “give us bread, but give us roses too” is about wanting to have more than just the things we need to survive — bread — but being able to have more — roses — too. If you missed the film, you might try finding it on Netflix or through the library, because it was quite powerful.
There’s a lot of news items I looked at this morning to link everyone to but I decided to just highlight one. This particular one made me so angry I wasn’t entirely sure where to start, except with perhaps that this isn’t a news item but an editorial:
This is an editorial by the staff of the Southern that praises Rita Cheng’s leadership and calls the faculty and staff need for partnership and respect unhealthy, comparing it to “an attempt by inmates to run an asylum.”
This is the kind of leadership the Southern seems to think a university needs? This is the kind of place that the Southern’s staff wants educating students? One where the collective bargaining rights of the employees are completely gone? A place where speaking up against injustice and exploitation is considered insane?
Well, I can say that’s not a place I want to work at. I imagine it’s a place most people don’t want to work at. I’m pretty sure that’s the type of school students don’t want to be at either. I want to work at a place where I have bread and roses too and, as far as I can see, Cheng and her administration has been completely uninterested in making sure anyone who is not an administrator is getting either.
I refuse to remain silent in an place where things are unfair to quality, hard working people. There is no power in silence. Now is the time to make ourselves heard.