Students Rally to Rouse NLRB From Near-Fatal Coma

Hey team, today’s the day we visit the NLRB at its office in Chicago and call on it to wake up and do its job for us and for every worker in America today. Here’s our press release — check back later in the day for photos and video from the event!

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WAKE UP, NLRB! CHICAGO GRAD STUDENT EMPLOYEES RALLY TO WAKE THE NLRB FROM ITS COMA,

HELP IT RECOGNIZE THAT GRAD LABOR COUNTS!

Chicago, IL, December 13, 2011 — Today at noon, Chicago-area graduate students and their supporters will demonstrate outside the Chicago branch office of the National Labor Relations Board (209 S. LaSalle St.) and present a petition calling on the NLRB to wake from its coma of inaction and recognize private university graduate student teaching and research assistants as employees with a legal right to unionize and collectively bargain.

The rally, organized by Graduate Students United, the graduate employee union at the University of Chicago, and the national Grad Labor Counts! campaign, will feature a dramatic skit in which the NLRB is presented as a comatose hospital patient to reflect its record of inaction and danger of imminent demise. The Grad Labor Counts! campaign has been endorsed by the 1.4 million-strong American Federation of Teachers and the 70,000-member American Association of University Professors.

“We’re calling for for urgent medical attention to the ailing patient from President Obama and Congress, who have the power to restore the NLRB by appointing a new member in 2012,” explained Dasha Polzik, a member of Graduate Students United and an organizer of the Grad Labor Counts! campaign

“We’re also calling on the NLRB to wake from its coma and issue a ruling on a case that has sat before it since April 2010 concerning the employee status of graduate students at private universities,” added Greg Goodman, another GSU member. Graduate student teaching and research assistants were first recognized as employees by a unanimous NLRB ruling in 2000, and then stripped of their employee status by a later Bush-era ruling in 2004

Representatives from Grad Labor Counts! will deliver a petition with over 2,700 signatures from across the country calling on the NLRB to rule on the case and recognize graduate student teaching and research assistants at private universities as employees. Details on the Grad Labor Counts! campaign and petition are available at http://gradlaborcounts.org.

Graduate Students United (AFT-AAUP) at the University of Chicago
http://uchicagogsu.org
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