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Tough Day for Academic Labor

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Last year, faculty at the University of Illinois-Chicago formed a union that combined both tenure-track and adjunct faculty in the same bargaining unit. Seeing a threat to its exploitation of cheap academic labor, the university administration sued. Although the union had won small victories at several points through the legal process, yesterday an Illinois Appeals Court ruled against the union and stripped the union of its bargaining power. The university says it has no problem with recognizing the two unions as separate, but as it, like just about every other school, moves into destroying its tenure-track labor force and replacing it with cheap adjuncts to fund skyrocketing administration salaries, it clearly saw a union of unified faculty as a threat.

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