April 5, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Ithaca, NY – The union trying to organize Cornell University graduate-student workers appears to have narrowly lost an election held Mar. 27-28: It trailed by 63 votes out of more than 1,800 cast, with 81 ballots either challenged or not verified.
The American Arbitration Association should determine the final result this month, Cornell Graduate Students United said. Meanwhile, the American Federation of Teachers charged that university administrators had committed a “glaring swathe” of labor-law violations, including sending out mass emails just before the election claiming that a union would mean reduced graduate student enrollment. “As an alumna of the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, I want to say how deeply disappointed I am with the egregious conduct of the university,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said. The CGSU said in a statement Mar. 29 that while it hadn’t won a clear majority, in 2002 only 30% of graduate-student workers had voted for a union, and “we made it right to the precipice…. Regardless of recognition, we’re not going anywhere.” Read more