You don’t want to miss the latest op-ed from second-year Ph.D. University of Michigan student and research assistant Mike Palazzolo, who gives a very personal account of his reasons for refusing forced unionization. What’s astounding is Palazzolo’s very impassioned description of how the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), a newly formed union of graduate student research assistants (or GSRAs), has been pushing him to join despite his objections – to the point where they “intimidated” him.
With all the concerns over bullying in our neighborhood schools, why would we tolerate it on our college campuses? But, that’s what’s happening at the University of Michigan. And amongst some of our nation’s best and brightest graduate students, of all people.
I know my department has my best interests at heart. I don’t believe the GEO does.
Some of the GEO’s employees once paid me a visit. I asked them what sort of benefits the union would offer. They gave me a canned response about how they won’t know until a contract is negotiated. That’s the best they can do — ask me for hundreds of dollars and promise they’ll try to make it worth my while. No thanks. I’m not a gambling man.
Worse, they tried to intimidate me. They warned me that there’s technically nothing stopping the university from taking away my benefits. But with the GEO’s protection, I would be safe from such dastardly maneuvers!
It’s bad enough Big Labor bullies elected officials in Washington with their influence. And we’re already seeing the effects of union cronies snatching away workers’ freedoms while invading their privacy. But, it’s downright disgraceful to bully a defenseless, hard working graduate student struggling through school. Some places should be off limits.