Thursday, July 19, 2007

CWA: Token Diversity for Token Diversity's sake

Nothing like trying to add color to your complexion just for the sake of appearances...

Well, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), that big-old bureaucratic dinosaur of a union (this writer's former alma mater, in fact) has decided to try and shed its "male pale and stale" image. The problem is, instead of true substantative change, the CWA is hoping to change its appearance by creating (in our humble opinion) a mere facade.

At its recent union convention in Toronto, the CWA's 19-member Executive Board, established four "at-large diversity seats" to sit on its Executive Board. The seats will fulfill the E-Board's goal of having at least three be people of color and at least two women.

According to the Bureau of National Affairs [by subscription only], the CWA's current 19-member E-Board has only four women and one person of color. Yet, about 43 percent of the union's members are female and 20 percent are minorities, according to CWA. [Sounds 'male, pale and stale' to us!]

To add insult to idiocy, the token E-Board members will have a full voice and vote on the board but will not hold the title of vice president [emphasis ours].

So, let's see if we get this straight and put it into its proper perspective...

The union bosses, feeling that they're a little too lily white for their own good have decided to go out and get some 'colored people and maybe a couple of chicks,' appoint them to sit with them, let them speak (even though they'll still be a minority on the Board)...BUT THEY WON'T GET THE TITLE OR THE PAY OF THE OTHER BOARD MEMBERS!

Wow! That's some diversity!...Sounds more like discrimination!

"This is not about being politically correct, it's about doing the right thing, and that is to elect local leaders to our Executive Board and to reflect the makeup of our union membership so that our unity is stronger among all our members," said CWA President Larry Cohen.

Yeah right, Larry!...And weren't you hand-picked too?

True to its red roots, the union is doing it the old-fashioned appointment and appearance. And, also true to its faux-democratic ways, the CWA's "diversification" is nothing more than faux-diversity...Or, more appropriately, mere tokenism.

1 comment:

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