But I bring you good news! Last night, New Mexico State's 1300 non-exempt workers became part of AFSCME through a union vote.
More on the flip.
The school's administrators denied rooms at lunchtime to employees who wanted to talk union. They told employees that they could not use their university email to talk union, or receive union-related information in their university mailboxes. The lowest-paid secretaries at NMSU make somewhere around $14,000 a year--could you live on that? They pay more for their health insurance than any other state-employed workers in New Mexico. But still the Administration insisted to these hard working men and women, janitors and secretaries and library workers, that a union would be against their best interests. And in a state where people don't know much about what the union movement has been able to accomplish over the past couple hundred years, this disinformation campaign might have suceeded. Faculty members combatted it as much as we could--I am a labor historian and I gave seminars and classes on labor history and on the union movement in New Mexico. But when it came time to cast the ballots, each man and woman was on his or her own.
Bucking a hierarchy that is social as much as it is organizational, these janitors and secretaries and library workers raised their voices and voted, and they voted UNION YES!