Students Call for Open Dialogue Regarding UAW

 As students of the Oberlin community, we are writing to call on our fellow students and faculty members in an appeal to President Carmen Twillie Ambar. It is time to launch an open dialogue with the entire Oberlin community to discuss and explore creative ways to retain individuals who have made invaluable contributions to our college lives. 

As a result of recent administrative decisions, 108 United Automobile Workers Local 2192 — members of the Oberlin community — stand to lose their jobs. Those who do find jobs with outside contractors will face pay cuts, benefits losses, and degraded working conditions. Unions are critical to upholding living wage jobs and securing rights in the workplace. Replacing union workers with outside contractors in order to cut costs is union busting — plain and simple.

Oberlin is not alone among colleges facing tough financial times. We need to learn what other colleges are doing to control costs and generate revenues to continue operating at the highest levels. For instance, other colleges are raising sizable amounts of money by partnering with other schools around the world to sell their virtual courses. 

We know budget cuts continue to take place. But the doors to these discussions need to be opened wide so we can explore creative solutions, keep our campus from becoming more polarized, and maintain our core values of social justice, equity, and inclusion.

This is a college of diverse individuals with a wide range of perspectives, and through discussion other ideas will surface. Right now, we are creating a petition calling on President Ambar to begin this community-wide discussion. 

As you see our flyers distributed across campus bulletin boards pages, please take a moment to scan the QR Code and sign our petition.

It’s time to come together to find ways to help retain the 108 UAW workers who contribute so much to make this a unique and outstanding college.