Harvard/History of Anti Unionism at U of T

kelley oudies at flash.net
Wed Jan 26 12:29:26 PST 2000

Well, well, well, how did i miss this tidbit? Pritchard, U of T pres, is leaving for job at Harvard? ken! you never mentioned this. Well, get people on the horn complaining to Harvard people then. fergravy'sake! i've written the harvard alum i know as well as a couple of harvard folks. i'm a peon and if i know some, then the rest of you have to know someone or two as well. below, please see more info about U of T's long anti-union history:


Although I am subscribed to the list serve, the server does not recognize my current address. Probably because compuserve has changed some of its addresses and does not recognize my new one. IT may get posted in a day or two but it has to go through different channels.

I'm pasting my reply for you to read and feel free to post or pass it on.

I'm very interested in the strike because of my own labor troubles with the university over hiring and I support the strike fully. I'd be interested in hearing more about it.

Brian Caterino

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Re: Solidarity/Call for Internat'l Help: UofT Strike Needs yourHelp Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:31:27 EST From: Brcaterino at cs.com

I was a graduate student at the University of Toronto during the earlier days of the TA's union (late seventies to middle eighties). I handled several grievances against the university on hiring matters and was force to grieve the university on hiring matters.

I can attest to the fact that the administration at the U of T treated the union with contempt (and fear). They certainly treated me with contempt. There are administrators and unfortunately some faculty who would love to see the union broken.

The university has always resisted recognizing the valid claims of TA's as employees. Unfortunately there is a very conservative core there who think they are patricians, even though as kelley implies it is a modern corporate university, which exploits its TA's labor just like other schools.

Toronto is an expensive place to live and it was very difficult (really impossible) when I was a student to get by on a TA's salary. It has to be virtually impossible today. There has to be such a thing as a social minimum even for TA's. They should not be asked to sacrifice all for the outside chance they might get a job later on.

Strike breaking and union busting are acts of cowardice. They show contempt for all people who work. Unfortunately the current U of TO president Rob Pritchard is leaving his post and taking a job at Harvard Thus in my opinion he doesn't have to be accountable and has nothing to lose by being a jerk.

If anyone out there is concerned they should not only write letters but put the pressure on the faculty to stand up to the administration. I think though if the U of T administration persists in its plan to fire TA's I believe people who care about labor should begin to think about a boycott.

Brian Caterino

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