In our account of this morning's press triumphs, we missed a letter in the Herald from Giovanna Pompele. (Note the lengthy signature, which the author did not provide. This is not common practice in the Herald.) The publication of this letter is particularly welcome since it also serves to correct the same confusion in President Shalala's recent op-ed:
Vote method counts
The April 13 article UM protests strike pressure tactics says Unicco wants to require all 480 janitorial employees to vote; the union wants the decision to form a union left only to those who want to vote. The situation is just about the reverse.
Unicco wants the decision made by a National Labor Relations Board election, in which a majority of voters would carry the day. But no one is required to vote in an NLRB election. The union wants a card-check process, which results in a union only if a majority of all the workers sign cards saying that they want a union.
This is not a small confusion. The strike is largely over the democratic credentials of the two methods. However else the methods stack up against each other, the card-check method preferred by the union is more representative precisely because it requires a majority of all the workers to succeed. Elections, by contrast, can be won even with a small turnout.
GIOVANNA POMPELE, lecturer, English department, University of Miami, Miami