Dear University of Miami President Donna Shalala,Please sign it as http://www.petitiononline.com/7779/petition.html and send the address to all your friends and colleauges. This is a chance to show that the country cares about low-wage contract employees on America's campuses. (On the host web-site there are a few paragraphs of background which will help explain to those who are not familiar with the situation what is going on.)
We, the undersigned, write to you to urge you to bring to bear your skills as a leader and an administrator in order immediately to resolve the strike by janitors and groundskeepers at the University of Miami.
At stake are two core principles with far-reaching implications for tens of thousands of contract workers at institutions of higher education across the country: the basic right to stand up for a better life and choose to form a union free from intimidation or the threat of firing, and the ethical and moral responsibility of all institutions of higher learning to hold their contractors accountable for their actions, and to ensure contractors cannot break the law and violate their employees’ basic rights without consequences.
To resolve the crisis at the University of Miami and demonstrate your leadership on these issues we ask you to make three statements:
1. That contractors that break the law will be barred from doing business with the University.
2. That contract workers should be allowed to unionize by whatever legal, democratic method they choose.
3. That Unicco or any other campus contractor will not lose their contracts with the University based on whether or not the contractors’ workers have a union.
Finally, we urge you to do everything in your power to bring Unicco, the workers and SEIU together in person to negotiate a resolution to this crisis. Its prolongation is unjust, unnecessary and hugely harmful to the great reputation enjoyed by the University of Miami.
Like institutions of higher education everywhere, UM should be a leading example in our community at large of an institution that values the highest ethical standards and the preservation of basic rights and freedoms.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Internet petition. Let's make this a big one.
This morning an internet petition was launched by UM professors Rebecca Biron and Ambler Moss and FIU professor Bruce Nissen calling on President Shalala to help resolve the strike. Its text is as follows: