Ole Miss, a school so so conservative that students wear seersucker suits and bowties to Saturday football games, finally has its labor union.
“United Campus Workers (UCW) has officially chartered the first registered labor union at the University of Mississippi.
The campus chapter will become the “local,” or founding chapter of UCW, for the state of Mississippi, but the charter can expand to any public university within the state.
The union was approved by its national organization, the Communication Workers of America. It did not have to seek approval from the university because it is not a university-sanctioned organization, just a ‘group of workers who have formed a union,’ as Jessica Wilkerson, union co-founder and assistant professor of Southern Studies and history said.
Several university professors began organizing last year in hopes of establishing an Ole Miss chapter of UCW, a labor union group originally founded at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Karly Safar, an organizer with the Communication Workers of America, said UCW was initially founded at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville as a result of a living wage campaign.
‘Custodians that worked in the dorms, in alliance with professors and students, launched a campaign for the university to pay all employees a living wage,’ Safar said. ‘From there, they expanded to community colleges and most of the public higher educations in Tennessee.'”
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