World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 18 Mar, 2021 04:15 am

Striking graduate workers at Columbia University speak out on their struggle

Striking graduate workers at Columbia University speak out on their struggle
Despite an almost complete media blackout, the strike is being followed and supported by graduate student workers across the country.

” Joanna spoke about the conditions graduate workers have faced in the past year and the May 2020 rent strike.“Grad workers decided to go on strike in the wake of the pandemic because many graduate workers were put into a situation of almost immediate precarity because, for a vast majority of graduate workers, we actually can’t afford to pay our rent in New York City for 12 months.” Isabella, an undergraduate student at Columbia who supports the striking graduate workers, said: “There was a strike last year too when we were sent home from COVID since they told every grad student they needed to go back home to many different countries that weren’t allowing travel.” Despite an almost complete media blackout, the strike is being followed and supported by graduate and other workers across the country.

So suddenly, we had swathes of people who cannot pay their rent.” “When you can’t pay your rent to Columbia, they put it on your student bill and then you can’t register for classes if you have outstanding payments.

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