College professionals vote in support of union employees

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JASON HAWK
EDITOR

The Oberlin College Office and Professionals Employee union has passed a resolution supporting union workers who have been given layoff notices.

The vote was cast during a membership meeting on March 10, according to Jamie Jacobs, a program coordinator at the college.

It comes after a Feb. 18 announcement that 108 United Auto Workers members who work at Oberlin College will lose their jobs this summer and be replaced with lower-paid hires.

The layoffs will impact custodial and dining service workers.

“OCOPE feels strongly that the support of UAW and union workers is not only the ethical choice, but the necessary path,” said a statement released to the News-Tribune. “If Oberlin College would like to continue to represent itself as a socially conscious educational institution, the administrators must take into account the needs of the most vulnerable employees and turn away from exploitative (practices).”

The resolution passed by OCOPE said its members “stand in solidarity with our UAW brothers and sisters and wholeheartedly support them in their fight to preserve their jobs and the dignity of labor at Oberlin College.”

“We strongly condemn the administration’s plan to lay off unionized custodial and food service workers and to replace them with outsourced labor; and we oppose any union-busting techniques,” it said.

“Furthermore, we are convinced that Oberlin’s future is best secured when the college treats all of its workers like the valuable members of the campus community they are – rather than as expendable units of labor.”