Unite Here !

Dear Democratic Leaders,
We write to ask your solidarity and support in our campaign for recognition of Local 33 – UNITE HERE, the union for graduate teachers at Yale, and to invite you to our Commencement Day action on Monday, May 22 at 8:30am in New Haven.  Tuesday’s New York Times Op-Ed connects the graduate teacher fight with our struggle against corporate America: https://nyti.ms/2prOL4l.
Graduate teachers have spent many years organizing over issues like insecure and declining pay and gaps in their benefits. One of the teachers writes about the issues in this Op-Ed in the Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2pKl8ey. You will recognize these as common problems for young people in today’s workplace. In fact, this is the longest-running continuous union recognition campaign in the country, to our knowledge.
Repeatedly, Yale told these teachers to go through the National Labor Relations Board if they wanted a union. They did so, and in February, they voted to unionize in eight departments on campus.
Now Yale has refused to recognize their union and negotiate. Instead, the university administration has generated endless legal delays, clearly hoping to stall until Donald Trump can appoint a new NLRB to overturn the election and roll back workers’ rights.
Unwilling to wait for this eventuality, the members of Local 33 have been taking action. On April 25, eight brave teachers began an indefinite fast. They each went without eating as long as they were medically able, and then another member stepped up to take their place. Union members also set up an occupation on the university’s central Beinecke Plaza, on Wall Street in New Haven. They’re calling the encampment, which they’re occupying day and night, “33 Wall Street.” 
But this isn’t all. Every day, the Yale administration has been feeling the resistance of our members. They have picketed, they have submitted petitions, they have done multiple acts of civil disobedience.
Each day, our members and our union will keep the pressure on the Yale administration. But as we all know, to win against an employer like Yale in a moment in history like this one takes a tremendous amount of solidarity and power.
That is why we’re asking you to join us on at 8:30 AM on Monday, May 22, Yale’s Commencement Day. On Yale’s most important day, we will flood the city of New Haven with working people, to show that nobody—not Donald Trump, not the Yale administration—will make us move backward now.
In solidarity,
Bob Proto
UNITE HERE International Union
Gwen Mills
UNITE HERE International Union
Click here for a printable version of this letter.


Jesse Turner said…
Elihu Yale did make a great deal of his money in the slave trade. Perhaps it is a case proving roots of Yale elitism's fruit still do not fall far from that old "you are here to serve us" tree.