In a sign of how much things have changed, three unions withdrew petitions pending review by the board within the last week. In so doing, the unions said they’d rather continue to seek voluntary union recognition from their institutions — an unlikely prospect — than risk an unfavorable legal decision under the Trump-era NLRB.Graduate Students United, the American Federation of Teachers- and American Association of University Professors-affiliated union at the University of Chicago, “has decided to withdraw from the federal review process and pursue a direct path toward contract negotiations as part of a coordinated national movement to protect the legal status of private graduate employees,” it said in a statement Wednesday.Yale University’s graduate student union, affiliated with Unite Here, along with Boston College’s United Autoworkers-affiliated union, appear to be part of that coordinated movement: both withdrew their petitions from the board within the past few days as well.All three unions held successful union elections (in Yale’s case, eight departments voted for a union as part of a “micro-unit” strategy). But their institutions challenged the validity of their bids, and so their petitions went back to the NLRB for additional review.
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