The Other Side of the Picket Line: Contract, Democracy, and Power in a Law School Classroom
21 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2007
This essay - from a forthcoming symposium on "teaching from the left" in the NYU Review of Law & Social Change - offers an account of the successful union organizing campaign among custodial and landscaping workers at the University of Miami during the 2005-06 academic year, focusing in particular on the role played by faculty during the course of the campaign. It examines a fractious debate generated by faculty who held classes off campus in order to support the striking workers and the author's own decision to put the question of whether to honor the picket line to a vote of his students. It offers an analysis of the pattern of argument that emerged - with opponents of off-campus classes invoking the rhetoric of contract and supporters invoking the rhetoric of democracy - and of what that pattern may reveal about the nature of ideological conflict in contemporary campus culture.
Keywords: union, university of miami, strike
JEL Classification: J52, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation