Historians Letter to Ira Katznelson
Dear Provost Katznelson,
We write you as fellow historians. Your scholarship in working-class history has been of profound importance and has affirmed the right of every working person to bargain collectively. We call upon you to honor that commitment and lead the Columbia administration in good-faith bargaining with its graduate students and other student workers. We also urge you to immediately cease the punitive withholding of stipends; not only is this a classic union-busting tactic but it is morally reprehensible, given how difficult it is for these workers to live in New York city. Finally, like any other workers, they have a right to a policy outlining freedom from discrimination and harassment, which we hope you will implement immediately.
As historians who value both scholarship and activism, we feel that the university should provide a model for equitable labor relations and demonstrate respect for the rights of all its workers. This is the standard to which we will hold Columbia—and you. We also fear that if Columbia succeeds in breaking GWC-UAW Local 2110 it will be a signal to other universities and will only increase the precarity of this large sector of academic workers, further undermining the academy overall.
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