Columbia Student-Worker Solidarity group says right to work has ‘deep roots in white supremacy’

Mar 1, 2018 by

The Columbia Student-Worker Solidarity group, an organization committed to “fighting for economic justice,” has called a College Republican group’s speaker “racist” and plans to protest his visit to campus. (Student-Worker Solidarity group’s Facebook page)

by John Patrick –

A student group at Columbia University is accusing the campus College Republicans of promoting a “racist, anti-worker policy” because they have invited Mark Mix, the president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, to speak on campus.

According to the Columbia Student-Worker Solidarity group, an organization committed to “fighting for economic justice,” the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation “represents advocates for a policy with deep roots in white supremacy and devastating implications for workers today.”

In addition to singling out Mix’s organization, the group also accuses any proponents of right-to-work laws that would eliminate or prevent union coercion of workers as being “pro-Segregationist.”

“Mark Mix’s organization isn’t the first to seek to ‘eliminate’ what it describes as ‘coercive union power’ or ‘compulsory unionism,’” the article reads. “The concerns held by right-to-work proponents are historically embedded in anti-black, anti-Semitic, and pro-segregationist ideologies.”

The group’s opposition to Mix speaking on campus is likely in response to an amicus curiae brief filed by the National Right to Work Defense Foundation on behalf of Columbia University in their efforts to prevent graduate students from forming a union — a move which many experts have said would drive up college costs while lowering the quality of education.

In response to recent efforts by graduate students at Columbia University to form a graduate union with collective bargaining rights, the university administration has said it would pursue legal appeals against any decision to unionize in federal court. “We remain convinced that the relationship of graduate students to the faculty that instruct them must not be reduced to ordinary terms of employment,” said John Coatsworth, provost of Columbia University.

In response to Mix’s speech, the Columbia Student-Worker Solidarity group has planned a counterprotest and rally outside of Lerner Hall, where Mix is speaking on Feb. 27. The student group will be joined by several area unions, including representatives from 1199SEIU, UAW, and Liberation Coalition.

Source: Columbia Student-Worker Solidarity group says right to work has ‘deep roots in white supremacy’

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