It is hard to suppress schadenfreude about the recent ruling of the National Labor Relations Board giving graduate students the right to organize labor unions. Elite universities are united in their opposition, but these same institutions are dominated by left-liberals who want to expand the reach of unions in businesses. Most of their professors approve of increased regulation on everyone but themselves. The NLRB is giving them a taste of their own medicine.
Universities are in fact a much more hierarchical world than most businesses with a vast gulf in compensation, prestige, and autonomy between tenured professors and everyone else. If critical university theorists were as much in vogue as critical race theorists and radical feminists, we would be treated to endless papers on the oppression of university hierarchies. But for some reason universities don’t produce such advanced thinkers.
Nevertheless, given the baleful effects of this ruling, we should contain our glee. First, the university is not the factory floor, and graduate students are essentially students, not employees. Teachers are mentors of students, not their bosses.