Saturday, April 22, 2006

Fourteen for Freedom

The unionization vote is over and the results are in. As I expected, more than 90% of graduate assistants voted to unionize. The vote was 290 to 14 for unionization. That's 95.4% for, 4.6% against. A total of 304 out of 672 graduate assistants voted, a turnout of 45.2%.

Because of this vote, all WMU graduate assistants will be forced to pay money to the union, whether they want to or not.

This is a perfect example to support my contention that most people don't really support freedom. When I wrote this some time back, many of you disagreed with me. However, the fact that only fourteen graduate students voted against taking away freedom from their fellow students is strong evidence for my case. Of course, it's unlikely that most graduate students thought about it that way. But that doesn't change the facts of what they did.

This vote also illustrates the limitations of democracy. Clearly, the consent of the people does not necessarily protect freedom. This was direct democracy in action, so there no politicians to blame. The casual equation of freedom and democracy needs to stop.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Graduate students (people who are believed to be really smart) overwhelmingly voted to unionize?

If this is the quality of the typical graduate student at WMU the school must be in serious trouble. Unions are on the decline, most workers today reject the union and most profitable companies are union-free. Denso in Battle Creek is a good example. They have repeatedly and adamantly said NO to attempts to unionize.

For a group of future "leaders" to embrace unionism goes against the grain of society. They are apparently emmersed in academia which is the furthest thing from the real world. Once they start paying taxes and earning an honest living their mind-set will change quickly.

Dan said...

I can see the irony too. So many of America's jobs are going to right-to-work states. Honda built a plant in Indiana and BMW built one in South Carolina while auto jobs are leaving Michigan faster than anything I can think of. Why? No unions there. If you were starting a business, would you want to deal with unions or avoid that messy group? I'd avoid the unions myself.