Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the University of Illinois has jacked up health care premiums for graduate workers and refuses to grant additional sick days to those who test positive for COVID-19. This is what workers have to deal with in the corporatized university.
Jeff Schuhrke is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a steward and former co-president of the UIC Graduate Employees Organization, AFT Local 6297.
The Canadian union Unifor is currently blockading an oil refinery in Regina, Saskatchewan. It’s an important example of what democratic, militant, and solidarity-based unionism can look like.
The US labor movement has a long history of aiding US imperialism. By adopting a strong internationalist strategy, making solidarity with the global working class a top priority — including on fighting climate change — the AFL-CIO can reverse that history.
Over the past century, the US government repeatedly disrupted leftist movements and supported or carried out coups around the world — aided by American labor leaders. A full reckoning with the AFL-CIO’s collaboration with US imperialism can help us forge a truly internationalist, left-wing unionism in the twenty-first century.
University of Illinois-Chicago graduate workers recently went on strike over high student fees, poverty wages, and the corporate higher education model. After nearly three weeks, they won.
What will the landscape for public-sector workers look like after Janus? The University of Illinois-Chicago is seeing what it can get away with — but campus unions are meeting the attacks with more militancy.
"The workers and the boss have nothing in common. It is a class question."
Like their counterparts in K-12, academic workers in public higher ed have organized to challenge austerity.