Under conditions of a staggering social and political crisis, the terms negotiated by the deal provide the basis for an erosion, not a rise, in living standards.
Graduate students at New York University began strike action on Monday as the United Autoworkers Union seeks to end the struggle of Columbia University grad students a few miles away by pushing a wage-cutting sellout deal.
Almost immediately after the results of the vote were announced the Graduate Workers Union called for delaying the strike until the fall semester.
As opposition brews at Columbia University
A sharp warning must be made: Before the strike has even begun, the UAW is doing everything to sell it out.
The vote is a devastating blow to the United Auto Workers and the majority of the GWC Bargaining Committee, who endorsed the contract despite overwhelming opposition from the rank and file.
There are fundamental political considerations behind the media blackout, in addition to Columbia University’s financial and public relations interests.
The struggle at Columbia, like all struggles of the working class, poses the question: Who should control the resources of society?
The UAW is not a workers organization but an arm of corporate management that works to isolate and suppress all opposition to the policies of the ruling class.
Throughout the course of the strike, many students admirably asserted that their fight was not only about the health and safety of themselves, but of the community as a whole.
Opposition to the resumption of classes at the University of Michigan is part of a broader struggle of workers against the homicidal policy of the ruling class related to the pandemic.
“A general strike is a must to stop this back-to-work and back-to-school madness”
Like the herding of workers into the auto factories, the drive to reopen schools and colleges even as the pandemic continues to rage is entirely driven by profit interests.
The issues being fought for by graduate students—a living wage, job security, better health care coverage and improved working conditions—are the same issues that confront students, young people and workers across the country and around the world.
Lacking any viable political strategy, the leaders of the UC grad student strike capitulated to the United Auto Workers, the same union teaching assistants rebelled against.
Workers must defeat the strikebreaking by the Democrats!
Janet Napolitano, the UC president and Obama’s former director of Homeland Security, has fired 54 striking grad students for daring to fight for living wages and affordable housing.
Striking University of California-Santa Cruz grad students defy UAW, arrests and threats of termination
UC president and former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano threatened to fire striking workers and demanded that they honor the contract imposed by the UAW.
The shutdown of the strike is a complete capitulation by the UAW, which exploited the genuine anger of graduate student workers over their exploitation by Harvard in a nearly month-long stunt that achieved virtually nothing.
The UAW’s isolation of the strike is part of a deliberate strategy to defeat the struggle of graduate students.
Several academic departments have informed graduate student teaching staff that they are responsible for reporting whether they are working, and that those who are striking should not expect to be paid.
The HGSU-UAW has made only token appeals to other sections of workers at Harvard to support the grad student workers’ strike and has offered substantial concessions to the university on virtually all issues.
Harvard officials’ hard line in relation to collective bargaining on grad students’ pay is in line with a recent NLRB proposal that would curb the establishment of graduate student unions at private universities.