Calling it their biggest victory in organizing white-collar workers, the UAW has squeeked in by a narrow margin as the union to represent University of Michigan clerical workers. For the first time, secretaries at the three U-M campuses (A2, Flint and Dearborn) will be able to work together to force University administrators into paying higher wages equivalent to those earned by people in similar positions in private business, and push for better promotional opportunities for women. The election'followed a year and a half of organizing by University clerical workers attempting to unionize the large force of secretaries, predominantly women. Anger over a survey which revealed U-M clericals received lower wages than in any other college in Michigan helped push the union through. ,.-. The close results of the election proved a surprise, as the UAW had barely missed a majority in a previous election. which pitted it against AFSCME or no union. This election, a runoff when no choice received a majority the first time, was expected to be a clear majority for the UAW, which should have picked up votes from the supporters of AFSCME. The UAW local, which will be known as Concerned Clericals for Action, is already beginning to work out demands for bargaining with the big U. Expected requests will include higher wages, a strong grievance procedure and an increased affirmative action program.
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