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The Boston Globe

Opinion

The Podium

A long road for unions

On May 17, Harvard’s largest staff union — the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, whose 4,600 members’ jobs range from cleaning the monkey cages in research labs to assisting Harvard faculty members — celebrated its 25th anniversary. Balloons danced energetically on their strings around Harvard’s campus as staff members enjoyed cookies and lemonade on the gusty, sunny day.

The union’s formation 25 years ago was historic in higher education and white-collar unionization and is notable in its own right. But union’s first quarter-century is particularly noteworthy because the union has come of age in an era that has seen the decline of both organized labor and the middle class.

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