MNA-UMPNC expresses its heartfelt solidarity with the Physician Assistants of UPAMM in their struggle for a fair contract.
Solidarity is not only a moral imperative but a strategic necessity. When workers are divided, only the employer wins. When workers stand united and fight together, we are strong!
Unfortunately, labor solidarity can only be hampered when one union engages in hostile activities toward another.
Over the last year and a half, the national American Federation of Teachers, or AFT, has engaged in a raid against the Michigan Nurses Association. Raiding is a behavior broadly condemned by the labor movement at large in which one union seeks to build membership not by organizing the unorganized, but instead by sowing division within already existing unions for the purpose of gaining members.
The unscrupulous behaviors of the national AFT should in no way reflect on the bravery and resolve of the U of M PAs; it should be noted that many members of the American Federation of Teachers, including the entire leadership of the U of M Graduate Employees Organization (GEO, AFT Local 3550), have boldly spoken out in condemnation of the AFT raid of the Michigan Nurses Association.
It is our hope that the Physician Assistants of UPAMM will join their fellow AFT members in their efforts to hold their national union leadership accountable. In any event, national union politics should not get in the way of our unity in the face of an employer that has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to putting profits above human need. Our solidarity with our fellow health care workers in UPAMM is unconditional: United we bargain, divided we beg.
The MNA-UMPNC Interim Executive Committee