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From LABOR-L@YORKU.CA Thu Apr 12 14:58:37 2001
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 14:42:20 -0400
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Charles Brown <CharlesB@CNCL.CI.DETROIT.MI.US>
Subject: Workers challenge Yale alumni for a voice

Workers challenge Yale alumni for a voice

By Art Perlo, 12 April 2001

Among their ranks are Roland Whitney Betts, Dubya's frat brother at Yale and the lead owner in Bush's Texas Rangers partnership. The sale of the Rangers made Bush a millionaire 15 times over, thanks to $135 million in corporate welfare from local taxpayers for a new ballpark. Betts raised over $100,000 for Bush's presidential campaign.

Then there is John Pepper, Chairman and retired CEO of Proctor and Gamble, and board member of Xerox and Motorola. Next is Holcombe Green, CEO and major stockholder of Westpoint Stevens, created by the merger of several major textile companies. At least four others are executives in the corporate world.

The more liberal members of the Corporation - academics, environmentalists, journalists and public officials - might not be part of Bush's inner circle, but most are upholders of corporate rule, and none are serious opponents.

Yale not only depends on corporate profits, it is in fact a big corporation itself. Their $10 billion endowment is invested primarily in corporate stock and other forms of ownership of companies, real estate and natural resources.

Through the Yale Medical School and Yale New Haven Hospital (chain), Yale is in the health care business. All together, more than half of Yale's operating income comes from its own business activities or from the profits of the businesses Yale invests in.

When the workers at Yale stand up for dignity on the job, decent wages and safe and healthy working conditions, they are standing up on behalf of all working people in the region. One quarter of New Haven's workers are now employed at Yale, full-time, part-time or casual.

Recently, a high Yale administrator was heard to say that with Bush in the White House, Yale could expect the National Labor Relations Board to be more favorable to rule against Yale workers more often. As the labor and community coalition which has come together in solidarity with Yale workers confronts the anti-worker and undemocratic practices of the Yale Corporation, they are taking on the anti-worker practices of the Bush administration at the same time.

While Yale's primary function for 300 years has been to uphold corporate rule, there are many voices for change within the academy. To live up to the motto, Lux et Veritas, Yale must give way and respect the right to a voice at work. That would be the best birthday gift for the future of this great institution