Trump Labor Board Targets Graduate Workers

On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board will issue a proposed rule change that would strip graduate workers (the master’s and PhD students who do much of the research and teaching on campuses nationwide) of their right to form unions. Below is a statement from Yiran Zhang, a graduate worker at Loyola University Chicago.

“As a graduate worker, I’ve had to miss bill payments, skip doctor’s appointments, and even work two or three additional jobs to cover my living expenses. I’m fighting for a union because I know it is only by standing together with my colleagues that can we change any of this.

Today’s announcement is yet another attempt to rig the rules against working people. This is about who has the opportunity to get an advanced degree in this country. This is about who has basic rights as an employee. Over the last three years, we’ve come together across the country and made big gains. We know that’s why the anti-worker Trump Labor Board is targeting us. And that’s why we’ll keep fighting until every working person in this country has the right to a union.”

Yiran is part of a multi-school, multi-union national campaign fighting for graduate workers’ rights. The graduate workers, with participants from Yale, Boston College, Duke, Emory, Tufts, Brandeis, University of Chicago, Loyola, Syracuse and more, say they plan to mobilize locally and at the national level and will take bold action to make sure the rule does not move forward. Today, they launched an effort to gather tens of thousands of comments on the proposed rule in order to force the Board to respond to the many concerns it raises.