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NYU | The Bellman:

"Graduate Employees at NYU have voted to authorize a strike. The issue is the university's decision to decertify the union in the wake of an NLRB ruling holding that private universities are not obligated to engage in collective bargaining with graduate employees. If no agreement is reached, the strike will begin on November 9.

Sean has a good post up at to the barricades and zach at Weapon of Class Instruction has been writing about these issues regularly, so I expect to see lots of high quality strike blogging.

The issues here are awfully familiar to me. I don't want to overstate the parallels between what's going on at NYU now and the fight we had at UIUC -- for one thing, they've already successfully negotiated a contract and lived under it for several years -- but in both cases the union's aim is to convince the employer to grant recognition even though the law doesn't require them to do so.

Clearly, the state of the law favors the employer here, but one notable fact about such a legal environment is that the union's choice of tactics is considerably less constrained than it would be otherwise. Which is to say that once the NLRB says you have no bargaining rights, the NLRB loses its authority to say that some tactics -- sit down strikes come to mind -- are out of bounds.

For what it's worth, at UIUC recognition was won by engaging in civil disobedience rather than through job actions. I can't guarantee that a similar action would work at NYU, or that it would have worked here if it hadn't come several months after a significant job action, but what I will say is that the Wobblies were right: Direct action gets the goods."
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