CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Support the NYU Labour Rally

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:

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 TAs. Sexton had the hubris to put it on the NYU homepage - to see the full text of the threat, see - 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 Make sure you cc a copy to Martin Lipton, the chair of NYU's Board of Trustees, as well as the provost David McLaughlin (

And don't forget to cc me at, 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


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