In accordance with the National Labor Relations Board’s cease and desist order, AU administrators must recognize and negotiate with the newly formed bus drivers union.
Although the process took entirely too long, we at The Eagle support the NLRB’s decision and the drivers’ choice of collective bargaining. As we noted in a previous staff editorial, everyone has the right to form a union, and the university should do as much as it can to better working conditions for its employees.
AU Solidarity, which garnered more than 800 signatures in support of unionization, deserves a lot of credit for informing and mobilizing the AU community to take action. It filled the void created by President Kerwin and other university officials’ inaction and set an important precedent for other labor groups considering collective bargaining.
But it is important to remember that open negotiations with the drivers are not the final steps in the unionization battle. One of the drivers’ biggest complaints was that they felt like second-rate employees, constantly disrespected by university officials in and out of the office.
Ultimately, no laws or oversight boards can promote fairness and cooperation in the workplace. It is instead the sole task of AU administrators and students to create a positive working environment for everyone. It’s good to hear that process has already begun.