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Re: [BKARTS] Book Artists Unite?



As a proud member (and occasional organizer), of the UAW, allow me:

First: The uproar over Rivera's "Man at the Crossroads" it's not at all as R. John Miller describes it. Most certainly the issue was not money. Nor was Rivera a "socialist." Hint: the issue was an image of Lenin that Rivera inserted into the project.

Second, and more to the point: let's not confuse craft unions with industrial unions. An industrial union (UAW, in theory), is about protecting the wages and rights of all workers, whether they're union or not, skilled or not. A craft union is something like the American Federation of Teachers, they're more interested in protecting their membership from all the "unqualified" people out there. Of course, this does not prevent my friends in the teacher's union from posturing like Lenin at the Finland station every time a contract comes up for renewal.

So before we discuss whether a union is needed or not, we might want to ask what kind of union that would be, and who it might benefit. The craft union, which is basically a way of protecting the in-clique? Or the industrial union, which is about standing up for all of those who work in our profession, even if they don't meet our exquisitely irrelevant standards?

Yours in solidarity,

Paul Werner, PhD, MA, MPhil, DSFS, UAW

                                    
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