Graduate Student Union Announces Plans To Hold A Strike Vote

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Early Monday afternoon, the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW (GWC-UAW) released an open letter to President Bollinger, in which it declared to hold a strike authorization vote if the university did not honor the union’s existence.

As part of graduate students’ 3-year-long struggle to unionize on Columbia’s campus, this letter comes as a response to Columbia’s January announcement that it would not recognize GWC-UAW, and instead would take the case to a federal court. In its call for Columbia’s recognition, GWC-UAW cited its broad-based support from students, faculty, RAs, student councils, TAs, and alumni alike.

If Columbia continued refusing to recognize graduate student unions, GWC-UAW stated that it would “hold a strike authorization vote.” While this act does not necessarily directly constitute a strike, it is a significant step in, and an indicator of GWC-UAW’s willingness for, organizing a strike that would greatly impact campus operations.


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  1. Anonymous

    Columbia should expel or withhold all degrees from these grad students.

    • Hey idiot

      That would look good for Columbia!

      Without grad students, research productivity would slow and over time grants would diminish. Labs, discussion, sections, and graded homework would grind to a halt, thereby hurting CU's first and second biggest cash cows - grants and for profit degree mills.

      Given that CU needs grad students, how do you propose they hire new ones? You can't really believe they'll fill those spots with similar quality students over night? After all, the application review process is on the order of months and all current students have more than zero training and can be safely classified as skilled workers. At the same time, after CU expelled every grad student, what sane, talented student would even apply? Turnover on that scale is a massive red flag (remember it when you're looking for a real job). Hence, productivity would still decrease in the short run as CU would feel the effects mentioned previously AND reputation would plummet in the long run. Grants would dry up and alumni donations would disappear. It would be tantamount to the death spiral that started in the 60s because moronic CU administrators wouldn't play ball.

      You're world view is overly simplistic and lacks both realism and common sense. If unskilled factory workers on an assembly line can strike and hurt 50 billion dollar companies, imagine what all skilled workers striking at a 10 billion dollar company can do.

  2. Devil's advocate (sort of)

    I generally agree that graduate students deserve better treatment. However, I've always hated statements such as, "We again urge you to respect our choice and start bargaining." I mean, why don't these grad students respect Columbia's choice? These arguments go both ways so it seems like a dumb strategy.

  3. Anonymous

    Call ICE! Bet they'z all illegals!

  4. Anonymous  

    I'll never understand why they were so patient when Columbia clearly wasn't going to do anything without a strike. But glad it's happening now and they'll finally get the union they deserve. Go grad students!

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