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Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Teach-in for AFSCME

Faculty and students should support striking workers Sept. 11 and 12.

As the University workers’ strike continues into its second week, the University’s academic community needs to stand with AFSCME employees. This Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., University faculty, students and AFSCME workers are asked to meet at the Oak Street Cinema near the corner of Washington Avenue and Oak Street in Stadium Village in support of the current workers’ strike. The Teach-in, as the event is called, is intended to take the place of regularly scheduled classes in protest of both President Bob Bruininks and the University administration’s wage increase offer to University workers, and as a learning opportunity in labor history.

The morning session will include AFSCME members, faculty, graduate students, labor educators and student activists discussing the importance of labor movements and the purpose of unions. A film and panel discussion of the 2003 AFSCME strike will take place in the afternoon. Following the morning session at noon on both days, students and faculty are encouraged to join striking workers on the picket line to show solidarity – the University administration must see they represent only the interests of the minority on campus and are supported by few.

Some faculty and students have already taken steps to oppose the University administration. professors and graduate students have moved classes off campus and students, this past Friday, protested a Board of Regents meeting. To those weary of politics, the University workers strike is not a political issue. The state Legislature already approved a 3.25 percent plus wage increase to state workers. It is the University administration that intentionally lowered the pay increase to 2.25 percent for technical and clerical workers and 2.5 percent for health-care workers. Bob Bruininks has devalued the worth of these women and men.

“The students are a bulwark of liberty,” the writer José Martí said near the turn of the 20th century, “and its strongest army.” University students and their teachers have an opportunity on Sept. 11 and 12 to amplify the voices of the striking technical, clerical and health-care workers. Please support the University workers on Tuesday and Wednesday and show them their worth.

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