Clark University Independent Socialist Group (ISG) and Worcester ISG stand in solidarity with ClarkU Graduate Workers United-Teamsters (ClarkU GWU-T) in their push towards union recognition. With working people bearing the brunt of the current health and economic crisis, it is more important than ever to organize against exploitation and for labor rights.
Clark University only functions because of the efforts of its workers, including student workers. Despite increasing tuition 3% every year, and an endowment of $514 million, Clark refuses to pay workers a living wage.
Recent events such as the ten week strike by the Student Workers of Columbia and the three day strike by the Harvard Graduate Student Union have shown the power that unions have to improve conditions on campus. The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) at UMass Amherst has fought for and won better compensation and working conditions since unionizing in 1991. Graduate workers at MIT, Bates, Indiana University, and University of New Mexico seeking union recognition are all a part of the growing wave of unionization.
ISG echoes the GWU-T’s demands for living wages, affordable high quality health, vision, and dental insurance, safe working conditions, paid sick leave, and employment support for international students. GWU-T is currently pushing Clark administration to voluntarily recognize the union. But Clark administration has undermined efforts to unionize service and other university workers for years. Graduate workers, undergraduates, staff, and faculty need to be prepared to escalate the struggle for fair working conditions if Administration refuses to voluntarily recognize the union. The union effort and supporters on campus should be prepared to call actions such as mass rallies, pickets, walkouts, occupations, or a strike to win!
Graduate workers should not go at this immense task alone. A victory here can help win union rights for all workers at Clark. This is why the ClarkU Graduate Workers United-Teamsters has the solidarity of the Independent Socialist Group on campus and in the community. Unions across the city and state, including other university unions, should call for and join solidarity actions to support the Clark union drive. We need union rights for all workers on campus including graduate and undergraduate students, staff, adjuncts, and faculty!