Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

m’aidez

Posted by vlorbik on December 19, 2009

founding meeting of covoc:
preliminary report. the
central ohio volunteer
organizing committee is
in full effect as of now.
yesterday was my best day
as an organizer since i was
actually on a union’s payroll:
i organized one worker twice.

i’m a rank-and-file member
of AAUP & IWW; my prospect
signed on to both outfits
right in front of my eyes
in a coffeehouse on main
before i’d even properly
worked up a head of steam
for the pitch itself… and we’re
talking “click here to pay dues”
not just “sign here for the
abstraction” (authorizing a
bargaining-committee-yet-
-unformed to try to cut deals
in one’s interest… with dues
actually *due* only after
a contract is negotiated
with the bosses; for a year
of my life i tried and mostly
failed to get people to sign on
with cfa/uaw on these terms
[and had a couple of *three*
signature days along the way;
never the same worker twice
till now though obviously]).

so we two are now planning to work
the “high-road, low-road” approach
to recruit new faculty… our targets
are non-tenure-track college faculty
in columbus ohio and environs. this
includes grad students in case that
isn’t obvious.

the aaup is of course a *professional
association* rather than a union.
many of our prospects are likely to
feel that labor unions are “part of
the problem” in the u.s. economy
rather than “part of the solution”.
in academic organizing we’re blessed
with a sort of middle ground here:
even faculty committed to “free market”
economic policies often feel that
the norms for “professional” work like ours
can and should be determined at least
in part by its practitioners. indeed, if
one’s professional indoctrination in grad
school has been at all effective, it’ll
generally be understood that “service
to the profession” is a duty… and that
this is entirely *different* from service
to the department or the college or the
vice-president for academic affairs.
which is enough. tell me about some
of the problems on *your* campus
and *i’ll* tell you where to find some
people who’ve *done something about*
similar problems on similar campuses
or anyway to learn *something* useful
about your problem… while meeting up
with some of the liveliest fellow scholars
in the game and working hard on
worthwhile projects. maybe somebody
will even *read* something you wrote
with real interest. why not ask for
the moon. anyhow that’s the high road.

(one should also belong to a disciplinary
association in my opinion; i’m currently
*not* plugged into ams, maa, or nctm
but am ex- in all of ’em and’ll probably
pay dues to at least one of ’em again
soon. one needs a pro peer group
*particularly* when not actually working
as a pro… anyhow insofar as one still
includes “highroad” health-of-the-profession
issues on one’s personal agenda…)

by calling iww the “low” road i intend
to *dignify* it. if bosses are “high class”,
we’re the other thing: we won’t have
anybody’s boss *in* our union but
only fellow workers. that’s just basic.
if it’s “low” to call exploitation by the
name of exploitation … to call violence
by the name of violence… and to invoke
heroes like joe hill at every opportunity
in *doing* it… well sign up here,
because we’ve got lots more good songs
and the strong hearts to keep singing ’em
when the heads start cracking.

it’s pretty widely understood that there’s
an earthquake on and everything’s changing
all at once all around us. the high-tech god
pretty clearly has feet of clay, too, anyway
for more and more people as it appears to me.

so it’s a great moment. *something* like colleges
will emerge from all this mess with any luck
and it’s not unreasonable to hope to be a part
of whatever that might happen to be. any luck,
there’ll be a general strike soon and one can
be part of that along the way.

meanwhile i’ve got my publishing projects
and haven’t done much about founding
a school or a resource center or any of that
so it’s not like this’ll take over my whole
life or anything. just, you know,
welcome back to the struggle, me.

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10 Responses to “m’aidez”

  1. It’s great to see that you’re back to doing the work that so desperately needs to be done!!! I dealing with a bunch of seriously bad craziness here in the Mansfield area and that’s kept me rather preoccupied for some time now. With any luck at all, things will shift into a better mode in the new year and I’ll be able to get down to see you guys a bit more often.

    Aloha,

    John

  2. jd2718 said

    Keep writing, thanks. It’s good to hear, even if it’s just one at a time, what folks are doing that might matter. Doing right should be its own reward, and the little verbal pat on the back isn’t much, but at least it’s a small supplement.

    jd

  3. vlorbik said

    thanks fellas. encouragement from long-time activists like you guys is like food and drink to an eternal beginner like me. and, for all my nothing-ever-works gloom-and-doom default-mode ranting, i’m feeling really invigorated right in here. it also helps a lot that this new guy is somewhat younger than us and burning with the will to *change things*. forward!

  4. Tadit said

    I’m on the sideline of a long term bad situation at the local un-cooperative aka CM/CNF. The UFCW has been rather lame frankly, except for an early moment. The staff there has been struggling to get fair treatment for at least five years. The liberal brand of fascism has a lock on the process, and UFCW just doesn’t seem to be very forward. It would seem that the pro-union staff could use a pep-talk from someone besides me. We can talk more. They are into wage negotiations currently, and the faux management dysfunctional to the bone is all about command and control but can’t seem to find their to actually doing management related work. EG the depressed wage scale of the staff has been subsidizing the place and the BS for years. BTW re: M’aidez, my “corporate” name is Imagining and Developing Effective Alternatives and Solutions, AKA I.D.E.A.S. Inc. jest fer giggles and grins. Tadit

  5. Tadit said

    I’m on the sideline of a long term bad situation at the local un-cooperative aka CCM/CNF. The UFCW has been rather lame frankly, except for an early moment. The staff there has been struggling to get fair treatment for at least five years. The liberal brand of fascism has a lock on the process, and UFCW just doesn’t seem to be very forward. It would seem that the pro-union staff could use a pep-talk from someone besides me. We can talk more. They are into wage negotiations currently, and the faux management dysfunctional to the bone is all about command and control but can’t seem to find their way to actually doing management related work. EG the depressed wage scale of the staff has been subsidizing the place and the BS for years. BTW re: M’aidez, my “corporate” name is Imagining and Developing Effective Alternatives and Solutions, AKA I.D.E.A.S. Inc. jest fer giggles and grins. Tadit

  6. vlorbik said

    thanks for bringing this to my attention.
    i didn’t even know columbus has an IMC.

  7. Tadit said

    On the IMC aka Cbus Indymedia, its site has undergone a major revision in part to address the significant lack of traffic. It has not been generally used by local people, mostly people elsewhere looking to publish naterial. Columbus really is a corporate town and that has included the nominal alternative claches.

  8. Vanessa said

    very promising ~ following with bated breath. just posted @NewFacMajority. haven’t been an aaup member for about 5 years & based on experience a/ a doomed chapter, don’t have the highest opinion of their effectiveness. if i join something else (you’re right though, i should have an affiliation) all iww is more appealing. just loaded NFM blog w/ follow/find images + widget for @NewFacMajority. now waiting for cranky e.

  9. Mike B) said

    Wobbly greetings from Perth. I just got up. It’s Boxing Day; but the gym isn’t open so, I’m heading off to the beach to go for a jog before the Sun gets up to burning levels. I saw you’d stopped by my place for an approving look see.

  10. profacero said

    I really should join IWW. Maybe you’ve organized me.

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