Albert Einstein on Collective Bargaining

Think collective action is outside the realm of science?  Albert Einstein didn’t think so.  In “Out of My Later Years” (most recent print by Grammercy, 1993), the Noble-prize winning physicist – and founding member of AFT Local 552 at Princeton in 1938 – devotes an entire chapter of this memoir to his thoughts on the “organization of intellectual workers”.  Here are some gems that are as true today as they were almost 75 years ago:

“I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and also, generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field.”

“But intellectual workers should unite, not only in their own interest but also and no less importantly in the interest of society as a whole.”

“An organization of intellectual workers can have the greatest significance for society as a whole by influencing public opinion through publicity and education. Indeed, it is the proper task to defend academic freedom, without which a healthy development of democracy is impossible.”