Nov. 17-30, 2000
Back Issues

Holiday hours added

Board backs plan for adding new research buildings
Bellah urges search for common good
Tickets may be available

Promiscuity could be the key factor in immune system evolution, study suggests

For kids' sake, some marriages are worth saving
Ethics faculty lead new interdisciplinary center
Other ethics-related centers at U.Va.
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
In Memoriam
New associate dean posts filled
Growth issues on the horizon
Poet Dave Smith to read Nov. 30
Head of National Museum of the American Indian to speak Nov. 29
U.Va. professor advised ABC against calling Florida
Hot Links - Combined Virginia Campaign
Eating turkey
To the Editor of Inside UVA

To the Editor of Inside UVA

According to reports in Inside UVA and other local newspapers, the University asserts that its recent, salutary decision to implement across-the-board raises for 180 low-wage housekeepers and groundskeepers was a function of surveys conducted on the University's behalf that found that the pay for these positions was below the most recent market comparisons.

Sociologists, economists, historians, as well as some University administrators, now understand that labor markets are a function of power, who holds it and who doesn't. In the years before the Civil War the buying and selling of some Americans offered a graphic illustration of this reality. For many decades afterwards the disenfranchisement, in the state of Virginia, of both African-Americans and most poor whites made for a plentiful supply of cheap labor hereabouts. And in recent years, at the University and elsewhere, many workers have feared, on pain of dismissal or demotion, to exercise their first-amendment rights.

Fortunately, the Labor Action Group and other political entities, such as the Charlottesville City Council, have taken some small steps to rebalance these labor market scales. When we successfully won the right of cafeteria workers like Shelley Burress to wear their $8 pin at work, when we publicized the shortcomings inherent in the new pay-for-performance scheme, and when we enlisted the support of local politicians in our cause, we have begun to make the market work for those with the least pay and power.

It is a task that is hardly finished.

Nelson Lichtenstein
Professor of History

Note: LAG is holding a rally at Madison Hall at noon Nov. 17.


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