March 16, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Durham, NC - The Service Employees International Union withdrew its petition to represent Duke University graduate students Mar. 7, 11 days after it came in almost 300 votes behind in an election.
The union would have had to win almost 60% of the 502 challenged ballots to win. “This is not a decision to quit fighting—rather, it is a recognition that the source of our strength is not lawyers or litigation, but our collective knowledge, power, and experience as graduate student workers,” the graduate students’ organizing committee said in a statement. The committee had accused Duke of using “union busting” tactics such as trying to get the National Labor Relations Board to void its organizing petitions and delay the election, but the NLRB would not press charges. A Duke spokesperson told Bloomberg BNA March 8 that “the university appropriately exercised all its rights under the law throughout this process.” Read more