April 29, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
New Haven CO – Eight graduate students at Yale University began a hunger strike Apr. 25 to pressure the university administration to begin contract talks.
“I’ve been waiting for Yale to negotiate for four years,” said Aaron Greenberg, chair of UNITE HERE Local 33. “Yale wants to make us wait and wait and wait… until we give up and go away. We have committed ourselves to waiting without eating.” Graduate assistants in eight departments voted in February to join Local 33, but Yale is refusing to recognize it. The university said Apr. 24 that it is challenging both the validity of organizing unions in individual departments instead of the entire school and a National Labor Relations Board regional director’s ruling last year that teaching and research assistants at private colleges are employees with the right to form unions. Local 33 organizers told the Associated Press they suspect the administration is stalling in the hope that the NLRB will be more favorable to its position once Donald Trump names new members to its board. Read more