The congressman who represents New York’s 16th congressional district and the city councilwoman for New York City Council’s 2nd district showed their support for the GWC-UAW strike at today’s rally.

At today’s rally for the GWC-UAW strike for a fair contract with Columbia, Representative Jamaal Bowman spoke and expressed his support for the graduate workers. This rally marks the third week of the GWC-UAW strike.

Bowman noted that although he does not represent the area around Columbia University, he felt the need to come to support the Graduate Workers’ aim because  they demand “simple dignity and respect.” He noted that simple recognition of the union, Local 2110, is not enough; graduate workers must continue to demand a contract for not just a livable wage, but to protect themselves from abusers.

New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who serves as the Co-Chair of Women’s Caucus and strengthened workplace sexual harassment laws in New York City, also spoke today, focusing on the push for third-party arbitration for harassment claims. “Every single powerful institution has to look inside,” Rivera stated. “There is no excuse for Columbia’s denial of workplace protection…Everyone deserves recourse for harassment.”

Both Bowman and Rivera expressed their belief that the graduate workers will win. Bowman recalled his recent visit to Bessemer, Alabama, where he supported a major vote that would allow Amazon workers to unionize. He expressed his disbelief that Amazon and Columbia can be grouped into the same category, as both entities try to avoid paying their workers a living wage while paying top officials millions. “Capitalism is destroying our humanity,” he said, “[but] you are going to win.” 

Images of Bowman and Rivera via Grace Fitzgerald-Diaz’s Phone