Labor's history is not exactly a bed of roses. Most unions have had to win better wages and shorter hours by the mailed fist rather than the oily word. Yet occasionally a union organizes effectively enough, and the employer is intelligent enough, to avoid the exercise of collective strength. When that happens, union members ought to shake their apron-strings in glee. It's happening all right, but some of the workers are responding rather perversely.
Instead of bucking the chef, waitress, and pastry-cook unions at every turn, Harvard has co-operated with their representatives, winning Joe Stefani's applause as a "good" employer. The result is that the University labor picture is a peaceful one, while union members have gained more humane conditions.
Yet on May 1st, the quiet of the kitchens and dining-halls will be disturbed when every dues-delinquent union member is gently booted out of his employment by the University under an agreement reached with the unions earlier this year. It is an essential act of self-defense by the workers organizations-for funds are the lifeblood of a union, without which it cannot exist to protect and improve the status of its members. Delinquent unionists ought to wake up to the fact that by holding back on their dues they are doing more than endangering their own jobs-they are hurting the union of their fellow-workers just as much as Aldrich Durant could do if he woke up one morning and decided to act like Mr. Ford's Harry Bennet.