Solidarity Statement with Columbia Strikers

Striking Columbia graduate workers:

UC Rank and File Action (RAFA) stands in solidarity with your just strike, and your entirely reasonable demands for full recognition, union shop, real recourse for harassment and discrimination, childcare, improvements in healthcare and compensation, and a contract without a “no strike” clause. 

We recognize many of the responses of Columbia’s administration from our experiences in last year’s wildcat strike – it’s as if upper administrators at both of our institutions take strike-breaking tactics from the same book. As you correctly point out – despite Ira Katznelson’s protestations – your work stoppage is neither “regrettable” nor “unnecessary”, but a reasonable response to widely experienced conditions of rent burden and precarity. 

As you have noted, strikes work to mobilize administrations who would otherwise drag their heels at every turn. So many times in last year’s struggle we were told some changes were impossible, only to see the bureaucracy bend to our demands later. Do not accept partial concessions; they are a sign your strike is working! Keep fighting – you are winning!

If “mutual realism” demands our submission, we cannot afford to be realists. 

In endless solidarity,