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Union leaders teaming up to support graduate student workers' union rights

UAW sign.
Members of the UAW union will attend a four-day legislative conference in Washington, D.C. beginning today

Union leaders announced today that they're teaming up to support graduate student workers at universities across the country.

Graduate Assistants at some universities complain they have voted to unionize, but the results of those elections are being ignored by school administrations.

Randi Weingarten is president of the American Federation of Teachers - which is part of the organizing effort.

"All the graduate workers who we have organized or who have wanted to organize are saying 'enough,' are saying there is a different way and a better way and we will not be deterred," she said.

Bryn Spielvogel is a graduate worker at Boston College and a member of the U-A-W. She says she joined the initiative because grad workers at the college voted to unionize last September, but the college refuses to acknowledge or negotiate with the union.

"It sends a very clear message that we're not going to go away and that we're going to keep building momentum in collaboration with other unions," she said.

The effort is a collaboration between the U-A-W, Service Employees International Union, Unite Here and the American Federation of Teachers.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Radio. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.
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