The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Monday:
“Strike Pledge Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OVER 500 IU GRAD WORKERS PLEDGE TO GO ON STRIKE
Over 500 Indiana University graduate workers have pledged to go on strike in response to the University Administration’s refusal to recognize our union.
In December 2021, the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition – United Electrical Workers (IGWC-UE) submitted to IU’s Board of Trustees nearly 1,600 union cards, a figure that represents a supermajority of graduate workers at IU. The IGWC-UE also called upon the Trustees to provide a path toward union recognition. Two months later, in February 2022, Interim Provost John Applegate sent a statement refusing to recognize the IGWC-UE and insisted that IU Administration is under no obligation to recognize a graduate worker union. Current Provost Rahul Shrivastav has similarly demonstrated his disinterest in advocating for the demands of graduate workers.
Due to the non-cooperation of the University Administration, the IGWC-UE has been compelled to consider a strike among graduate workers to take place in the remainder of the Spring 2022 semester. “We of course don’t want to go on strike,” said IGWC-UE member Zara Anwarzai, “but, at this point, the University has left us no choice.”
“Ideally, the University would provide us with a path toward unionization before we have to go on strike,” added IGWC-UE member Moshe Stein. “It’s their decision whether or not we strike.”
In response to the prospect of a strike, several IU departments have made public statements about their support of unionization and their commitment to neutrality in the event of a strike. The Luddy School of Informatics conveyed to their graduate students that “the Department has NO intention of discriminating against any graduate students for speaking out about their working conditions or for participating in a collective action like a strike.” Additionally, the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department has communicated to its international graduate students “that there is no danger to your visa status because of a strike.”
Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition
[email protected] www.indianagradworkers.org
28 March 2022
Similarly, over 150 IU faculty members have signed a pledge of neutrality toward graduate workers’ collective actions. The pledge asks faculty “to sign a petition committing themselves to neutrality in their treatment of graduate workers in the event of a graduate worker strike.” Signatories individually commit to “affirm that a graduate worker’s participation in the strike will not affect my evaluation of their labor or their academic work, nor will it affect advising, mentoring, or letters of recommendation.”
For further questions and correspondence, contact Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition media correspondent, Cole Nelson ([email protected]).
https://www.facebook.com/IndianaGrads/ https://www.twitter.com/indianagrads https://www.instagram.com/indianagrads/”