The Imperial Institute
Once upon a time in a land nearby, there was an Imperial Institute which, was very much used to getting its own way. When it did not get its own way, it huffed and it puffed, and it blew away all opposition with its mighty wealth and power. Whenever its loyal servants complained that they were being treated unfairly, the Imperial Institute snickered and scoffed at the complaints, no matter how justified they were.
Finally, a small band of workers rose up to challenge the Imperial Institute. The workers were decent, everyday people who had toiled hard for the Imperial Institute, and were committed to helping those about them whenever they could. Nonetheless, the tired workers could no longer submit to the long hours and poor conditions under which they had for so long languished. They protested to Chieftain Annie, who had long ago been assigned by the Imperial Institute to chain the workers to their work stations; to keep them away from their families for as long as possible; to obstruct them in their efforts to become better educated; and to keep their pay as low as possible. But Chieftain Annie relished her job, and had no ear for the workers' protests. "Be still thy mouths and return at once to your chores! You fools! You will get no more from the Imperial Institute than what I say you shall get!"
Chieftain Annie snorted and stomped and stammered at the workers, but they would no longer be frightened by her. When they persisted with their protest in a spirited, yet lawful, way, Chieftain Annie called upon the Imperial Institute's Manipulator General of Labor Relations for assistance in quelling the uprising. She knew that the Manipulator General's job was to pretend to be fair toward the workers, while actually contriving a strategy to thwart the workers and bring them into line. To that end, the Manipulator General gathered the workers together and asked them to state their grievances. He appeared to listen in a caring and concerned way, bringing hope to the long suffering workers. When they finished listing their many justifiable grievances, he asked, "If I grant thy grievances and give thee the relief thee seek, will thee go upon thine way and continue to serve the Imperial Institute as thou hast so faithfully in the past?" At that the workers cheered heartily and promised to return to their work stations and to toil faithfully in the belief that their grievances would be satisfactorily addressed.
When the workers had gone, Chieftain Annie queried the Manipulator General as to his sanity. The Manipulator General smiled apocryphally, and told Chieftain Annie not to fear. "I have told them that we will grant them the relief that they have sought. But remember, in the Imperial Institute reality is what we say it is. We do not have to provide the relief we have promised, we only have to say that we have provided it. They have gone away, and nothing will change." Chieftain Annie and the Manipulator General guffawed and reveled in their own cleverness as another dark night overtook the Imperial Institute.
The National Labor Relations Board, the agency responsible for enforcing federal labor laws, has concluded its investigation into two of four charges filed by the MIT Campus Police Association against MIT. On both charges, the NLRB has found probable cause that MIT violated federal labor laws in its dealings with the Association, and has filed formal complaints against the Institute. IN the first case, the Labor Board alleges that [MIT was guilty of bargaining in bad faith] with the Association. IN the second case, the Labor Board found probable cause to believe that agents of the Institute [unlawful spied on Association members] who were leafleting an earlier edition of this Labor Relations Update, and [unlawfully interrogated and coerced members of the Association] who were engaged in such lawful leafleting.
For a short time, negoatiors for the Association naively believed that its long-standing contract dispute with MIT might be coming to an end. Although it had not achieves all of its objectives, the Association was prepared to recommend a favorable vote on a contract settlement in response to a promise from MIT to accept an Association proposal for a restructured work schedule. The Association's proposal would have provided officers with a slightly longer workday in return for more days off, particularly around weekends. Before a ratification vote could be arranged, the Association learned that MIT intended to implement the Association's proposal in a perverse manner that would have reduced an officer's pay by almost three thousand dollars per year. As a result the apparent settlement collapsed, and the Association's struggle for a fair contract continues with no end in sight.
If you would like to assist the MIT Campus Police Association with its fight for a fair contract, please call of write the following MIT representatives and indicate your support for a change in MIT's approach to negotiations.
Charles M. Vest
John R. Curry
David B. Achenbach
Manager, Labor Relations
Chief, MIT Police
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