In Remembrance.

In Remembrance

Ron Carne
Lila Gosch
Jessica Holland
Jim Saxe
Larry Thatcher

Julia Harvey

d. 1986

Julia was a union organizer for the United Stanford Union and worked in Stanford Hospital. Stanford administration laid her off in an effort to rid themselves of her efforts for workers. She was 60 at the time of her layoff, and did not go quietly.

Julia passed September 17, 1986. She was survived by her husband, John.

Julia was the focus of a 1973 article published in The Stanford Daily and reproduced here:

Support For Julia Harvey
'Stanford Workers: Fight Layoffs'

by Linda Crouse

So the administration has finally awarded Julia Harvey her gift for 25 years of service: a swift kick you-know-where. And while they're pushing this 60 year old woman out the door, the administrators who make many times her salary (in a university which rates next to Colgate-Palmolive in corporate assets) wring their hands and say they just don't have the money and they're just so sorry to have to let her go. Go usually means going to unemployment or welfare and food stamps, but then, administrators are shielded from these kinds of harsh realities. This sort of "I'm your buddy" approach is hard to fight and the administration is clever enough to know it. A few years ago they would have re-affirmed their "right" to lay off "surplus" workers but they've learned that being up-front like that only serves to mobilize workers more. After all, even if you're losing your home and facing bill collectors when you're laid-off, how can you confront the administrator responsible when he's standing there next to you sniveling?


It's important for Stanford workers to realize several things. First, Stanford has the resources to re-hire Julia and to stop lay-offs if it really wanted to. Stanford has at least $5 billion in assets. It is one of the wealthiest institutions in the country and ranks among the highest in endowments. The medical center, which is laying off many of its workers, has $9,000,000 alone for a new wing, and departments such as genetics which has let people go are at the same time receiving close to half a million in new grants this year. No one can be so naive to think that if Doctors Rich or Gonda lost some grant money that they would be standing in the unemployment line. No: in the worst case a few books would be juggled here or there and there wouldn't be the slightest interruption to their $30,000 or $40,000 salaries. But somehow, in the midst of all this, Stanford can't cough up the money even for one worker, a couple of more years

Rocking The Boat

The second thing workers must understand is that there are other lay-offs besides Julia's. Unlike Julia, though, most of them are going quietly and we never hear about them. They have the illusion that if they don't rock the boat their boss will re-hire them or give them a better recommendation. Of course that's just what the administration wants. It makes their job much easier. And it's the one way you'll be sure to be laid off. There is only one way to stop lay-offs and that is to take action and put pressure on the administration. We have had to fight for every little thing we have here. It took a sit-in to get a grievance hearing at the hospital. It took the law to force Stanford to finally pay unemployment insurance and it took picket lines to get a change in minimum pay, and a boycott to stop lay-offs at Tresidder.

What To Do

Workers getting their lay-off notices should: 1) Contact one of the many organizations on campus such as USE, Venceremos, the hospital BAC, etc. 2) File a grievance. USE will help. All workers should: 3) Demand that Stanford live up to its own policy of placing laid off workers in other jobs. 4) Demand that an emergency fund be established for workers. 5) Demand that some of the 46% overhead Stanford gets on all federal grants go to this fund. 6) Support Julia all the way. Julia's layoff is an attack on all workers, not only because it's so barbaric, but because Julia has been one of the most active labor organizers on campus. We cannot allow any more John Dolly's here. The repression coming down in this country takes many forms: attacks on revolutionary groups, wage freezes, "adjustment" centers in prisons, imprisoning reporters, etc. You name it. Laying-off labor organizers is one of them. We must fight back because what is at stake is our livelihoods and rights as workers.


The last thing that workers should understand is that there is a very real reason why we have to continually face losing our jobs in this country. Nixon is combatting inflation with lay-offs. (Third world and women workers are always the first victims of this policy.) Having a reservoir of unemployed is one of the most effective ways to keep wages down and weaken unions. Meanwhile, the large corporations and banks have been reaping in unprecedented profits. The single biggest reason for the inflation and lay-offs has the war. We've squandered wealth on destroying a people who threatened our national (big business) security by almost voting in a communist government in 1954. Although the war has killed over 1,000,000 and caused massive lay-offs and set-backs for workers here, it has been very profitable for some. The large corporations and banks have made unprecedented profits from "defense" contracts while at the same time trying to make Asia safe for their investments. They forgot one thing, though. The Vietnamese were willing to fight back. And they're winning.


Of course what Nixon and his bankers (and the Stanford faculty who've made it off of DoD funds for the war) don't tell you is that under socialism and communism, which the Vietnamese have been fighting for, workers aren't 'laid off’. Under socialism you don't have to compete to make a living. You have a right to it. That's because socialism means that workers, rather than large corporations or banks or Rockefellers, run the country.

(Linda Crouse is a member of Venceremos.)


Support for Julia Harvey | Stanford Workers: Fight Layoffs, by Linda Crouse, The Stanford Daily, Volume 163, Issue 5, p. 2, 7 February 1973. Link