Feed on

Here was the unfriendly note I sent to the students who are openly advocating for damaging my relationship with my employer:

P.S none of us are in the business of smashing windows and regardless of our ideological differences, … Also we (Margaret joe and I) expected that you’d be anti Union and gave SEIU heads up and they still reached out to you specifically for that, because they respect everyone’s opinion and wanted to reach to everyone not just those who’d say yes.”

See the highlighted portion. That is everything that is wrong with our universities and civil discourse. None of you know me well enough to know how I feel. You don’t know my ideology as I do not tell it to people nor do I think it should matter. Yet you just guess, because you just “know?” So you insert yourself into a very personal and sizeable matter and do not allow me to represent my views myself? There are slander and libel laws that only protect you here since you are framing this as your “opinion” about me, but which come awfully close to damaging me.
Do you know what it means to be “anti-union?” Do you know that union laws are different in different states? Do you understand that you can be extremely supportive of people’s right to bargain collectively (a very libertarian position, if I may say so) but completely opposed to the way that unions have secured special political privileges, have used violent and intimidating tactics, have exempted themselves from anti-trust laws, have been the enemy of low-wage, black, women and immigrant workers (of course, you are all social justice advocates so that can’t be the case, correct?), have made it harder for certain workers for find entry level positions and have exacerbated unemployment in non-union sectors, have encouraged more offshoring and reduced american manufacturing competitiveness, have coopted the public sector,  …
… but if people want to bind together to talk collectively with an employer, that is great. What remains an open question is why you feel the need to force me to be a part of that, and that is exactly what you are doing. You tell me why, if faculty members X, Y and Z are unsatisfied, why they feel the need and the right to force faculty member J to change his relationship with the employer? Not only that, you are going to make me pay for the “privilege” with withholdings from my paycheck and you pass labor laws that make it illegal for me to even request a change in job title so that I am exempt from being a part of a group that I want no part of? You are going to make it illegal for me to work with my department on what classes I teach and under what terms. You are going to make it difficult for me to go above and beyond what is in my contract. That is disrespectful, insulting to my individuality, and frankly borderline violent. And it is not acceptable to just sign your name to a petition that supports borderline violence and not have the decency to warn me about it. Furthermore, to assume my anti-union stance because … well, why would you think that? You are classifying me according to my race? My profession? Surely you are not committing a social justice crime, are you not? How would you like it if I drew conclusions and OPENLY discriminated against you for suspecting some view you held that seemed to be correlated with some other characteristic of you? You would have me fired for it. Yet that is what you have done to me and remain unapologetic about. On what grounds would you EVER try to tell someone what my views are? On what grounds would you tell SEIU that I don’t support them? Clearly, the only reason you would tell them that, is …?
As far as my privacy, this is still my personal e-mail account, but not only have I not gotten satisfactory answers to that, but how and who identified me (and not others) to target for unionization drive.
—- (no response came)

I would like to know how you obtained my E-mail (it was my personal private email so it must not have come off of my UR faculty page) and how you obtained information about which faculty to send your note to yesterday?

As students, I am sure you would have objections if someone took a list of your names and used them for political or advertising objectives, why so you feel like it is ok to then perpetuate that some situation?

I’m curious as to how come you did not respond to me yesterday? It seems like in any other matters my students can’t help but email back and forth within minutes.

There is information embedded in silence, remember your ECO 207.

And for the coup de grace (and yes, I am on the receiving end), I merely excerpt part of the return from one of the students:

Professor Rizzo,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. First off, I want to say that I am speaking for myself here and that this is solely my own opinion, which I believe I’m entitled to express. …

Nothing about the email to which my name was attached was either offensive or threatening and I stand by that statement. The same cannot be said about your response. Your emails reminded me of the communication we had earlier this semester when I unintentionally reduced your teaching to indoctrination about markets …

I will continue to stand with the faculty that I sincerely believe will benefit from unionization and I am disappointed that you could not respect my right to or reasoning for supporting them in the first place. …

For that reason, I ask that you do not reach out to me again (electronic or otherwise). If you do not respect this request, I will contact the University Intercessor so that the University can mediate this on our behalf, if that’s what you would prefer. I respect your right to opinions that are different from my own but I will not tolerate you speaking to me or any other student in this way and I encourage you to reflect on why you chose to address me and my fellow students in such a disrespectful manner.

So there you have it. Three weeks ago when I sent my first e-mail to SEIU asking questions, there was 100% certainty that we’d end up down the rabbit hole. Readers can understand why that was inevitable. Why? Because when you ask logical questions that require logical answers, you are not going to end up in a good place when expecting responses to them. I probably should have just let the SEIU railroad me, right? All folks like me want is to be left alone.

For the quick recap: (1) SEIU rep stalks me and won’t provide clarity about what is going on –> (2) A student gets to threaten me with no recourse. Without going point by point through the last e-mail, I would simply alert readers to just how many of my actual substantive questions were answered or what reasons were given for students to support their right to rope me into a union they know nothing about (just because, well, because …). And while it may be common sense to suggest that people are entitled to their own opinions, they are most surely not entitled to it being right.  As a last reminder, you will notice that the SEIU stalking me and the students obtaining my e-mail and propagandizing me, was initiated by them.  And at the risk of sounding really crude, when someone is trying to assault you, which is what the SEIU and these student actions are akin to doing, you do not try to “have a conversation” about it or “respect the opinions” about it. I bet many muggers sincerely believe they are doing the right thing, I bet many criminals believe that their actions will improve the lives of others. That doesn’t make them right nor does it entitle them to obtain the respect of those they are trying to assault.

As they say, have a nice day.

One Response to “SEIU Union Drive, “Deep Into the Rabbit Hole””

  1. Seattle Steve says:

    This whole episode is very chilling, lends one to think mob rule is taking place in universities. My best wishes for your safety, both professional and personal!

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