Letter: Trade Unions

Having been on both sides of the laboratory hierarchy, as a graduate student and now as a research scientist, I believe your articles "Trade Unions Target Laboratories As Technicians Seek Better Work Life," "Lab Workers: The Unseen Scientists," and "At Harvard, New Acceptance Of Trade Unions" (The Scientist, June 11, 1990, pages 1, 6, 7, respectively) make an important point. Their emphasis on the dignity and participation of the technician in the workplace as shown by the Harvard Medical Schoo

George Drucker
Aug 19, 1990

Having been on both sides of the laboratory hierarchy, as a graduate student and now as a research scientist, I believe your articles "Trade Unions Target Laboratories As Technicians Seek Better Work Life," "Lab Workers: The Unseen Scientists," and "At Harvard, New Acceptance Of Trade Unions" (The Scientist, June 11, 1990, pages 1, 6, 7, respectively) make an important point. Their emphasis on the dignity and participation of the technician in the workplace as shown by the Harvard Medical School union is striking.

While some investigators might actually believe that "employee-employer loyalty" would be lost with unionization, my experience indicates that it is already long gone. Only a shell of loyalty is left--the fear "of losing my job if I don't appear loyal." It is probably not a coincidence that technicians are generally not in "the power elite," belonging to groups such as recent immigrants, minorities, young adults,...

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