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Support Striking Teaching Assistants at New York University

Jay Driskell writes:

Support Striking Teaching Assistants at New York University

Online Petition in Support of Striking TAs at NYU

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Hey all,

A quick report on the labor rally at NYU from Friday. The turnout was quite
good on short notice — well over 1500 folks from dozens of unions. The most
significant in attendance were Ron Gettelfinger, the president of the UAW, John
Wilhelm, the president of the hospitality division of UNITE HERE, John Sweeney —
the president of the AFL-CIO, and several city council members — all of whom
promised to do everything in their power to help GSOC win.

The President of
the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) at CUNY, Barbara Bowen, also spoke to the
importance of this fight, not only for the future of intellectual labor, but
also for the labor movement as a whole. "Winning this fight today is as
important as the air traffic controllers strike was early in Reagan's first
term," she said. A representative from the Teamsters promised to do everything
he could to back the strike.NYU President Sexton does not beleive that the broader labor movement will
support the strikers at NYU. The broad spectrum of top labor leaders that
appeared before the crowd, including folks on both sides of the
Change-to-Win/AFLCIO split, has shown however that the broader labor movement
is watching this fight very closely.

There are three things you can do right now to support the TAs on strike.

1. Sign the online petition initiated by professors Judith Butler, Frederic
Jameson, Joan Scott, Gayatri Spivak, Paul Gilroy, Talal Asad, Donna Haraway,
Slavoj Zizek, and Etienne Balibar: here.

2. If you have not done so already, write Sexton directly and tell him to
negotiate with the union and rescind his threat of a blacklist for striking

Sexton had the hubris to put it on the NYU homepage — to see the full
text of the threat, see here — click on "A Letter to NYU Graduate
Assistants from John Sexton." The threats are laid out towards the end
following the sentence "Lastly, I wish to talk about the strike."

You can write Sexton at john.sexton@nyu.edu. Make sure you cc a copy to Martin
Lipton, the chair of NYU's Board of Trustees, MLipton@wlrk.com as well as the
provost David McLaughlin (david.mclaughlin@nyu.edu).

And don't forget to cc me at jay.driskell@yale.edu, so I can get them into the
hands of the strikers.

In light of Sexton's ultimatum, I'm sure there are a number of strikers in New
York wondering if the rest of their profession is really behind them. These
letters of support will do a tremendous amount to help those folks remain on
the line.

3. You can still write a check to the strike fund:

Checks can be made out to: "UAW Local 2110 Strike Fund."

Send it to:

UAW Local 2110

113 University Place, 5th floor

New York, NY 10003.

In solidarity,

Jay Driskell
Graduate Employees and Students Organization

Yale University