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Graduate Student Workers at USC vote to Unionize

By a 93% margin, graduate workers at the University of Southern California have voted 1,599 to 122 in favor of unionization. The victory caps a multi-year effort, with workers standing strong against USC administrators’ anti-union campaign. Graduate Student Workers Organizing Committee-United Auto Workers (GSWOC-UAW) will represent 3,000 Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, and Assistant Lecturers at USC.

SSDS attorney Daniel Curry represented the USC grad student workers during the election process.

“The status quo has not been serving Graduate Student Workers, and we are thrilled to have won our union and an equal voice in determining our working conditions,” said Maggie Davis, a Graduate Student Worker in Sociology. “Our next step will be to democratically prioritize the changes we plan to bargain for, so we can tackle issues like inadequate pay and health care, a lack of protections against abusive conduct, and insufficient support for international students.”

“We are so energized by this resounding vote in favor of our union,” said Stepp Mayes, a Graduate Student Worker in Civil and Environmental Engineering. “The support for our union keeps growing stronger, and we will be bringing this solidarity and energy to the bargaining table. We are confident that our union will be good for us and good for USC, and we look forward to meeting them at the table soon to bargain a contract that makes us all stronger.”

“I want to congratulate USC’s student workers on their incredible hard work, and welcome them to the UAW,” said Mike Miller, Director of UAW Region 6. “Like their 7,000 colleagues in the LA-area who have already joined the UAW, they are part of a movement of higher ed workers who are coming together to improve academia. We look forward to working together as they bargain a contract.”

In just this past year, Research Scientists and Engineers at the University of Washington voted 85% in favor of unionizing with UAW, Mt. Sinai Postdoctoral Researchers voted 89.5% in favor of unionizing with UAW, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Grad Employees voted 96% in favor of unionizing with UAW.

Read more here.

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