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GEO Strike Continues For Second Day At UIUC

The GEO strike for recognition of their union by the University of Illinois continued into its second day as the administration has refused to accept the fact that, in a democratic country, ALL workers should have the right to organize.
GEO Strike Continues For Second Day At UIUC
by ML 12:48pm Thu Nov 29 '01 article#3263


The GEO strike for recognition of their union by the University of Illinois continued into its second day as the administration has refused to accept the fact that, in a democratic country, ALL workers should have the right to organize.

The GEO strike for recognition of their union by the University of Illinois continued into its second day as the administration has refused to accept the fact that, in a democratic country, ALL workers should have the right to organize.

Pickets went up around the five affected buildings again early this morning, despite miserable weather. Undergraduate classes, even in buildings not being picketed, were noticeably smaller than usual. A 5pm rally around the Alma Mater statue at Green and Wright streets last night was well-attended. A sit-in in solidarity with the striking grad students at the Urbana-Champaign campus outside the office of the UI-Chicago Chancellor’s office ended peacefully with no arrests

A teach-in last evening drew an enthusiastic crowd that listened to a prize-winning panel of professors (and one grad student) from the History Department explain the historic basis of the GEO’s demands for recognition. They pointed to the many ways in which elite groups of corporatized administrators have sought to roll-back hard-won gains by workers in recent years, concentrating on such trends within the university itself which undermine the educational process. They also stated that the unionization and recognition of the second-largest body of people involved in the university, the grad students, would actually improve the educational environment at the U of I by giving voice to working grad students who are particularly vulnerable to exploitative working environments.

Another rally is scheduled for 5pm this afternoon at the Alma Mater to end the current job action. A spokesperson for the GEO noted that actions such as this week’s will only escalate in the spring, unless well-paid administrators come down from their luxurious offices in the Swanlund Building to bargain in good faith with their union. Members of the GEO are counting on the substantial showing of strength from their job action this week, combined with the Illinois House’s passage of a resolution calling on the University to bargain with the GEO and with ongoing legal action, to win what grad students at dozens of other US universities already have---recognition for their union.
 
 

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