Solidarity with SEIU Duke Graduate Students Union from the NC AFL-CIO

Secretary-treasurer MaryBe McMillan and the members of the NC AFL-CIO are standing with us as we build our union at Duke! We’re honored to receive their support and look forward to more opportunities to build solidarity, stand together for economic, racial, and social justice, and organize the South! Read her full statement below:

The 120,000 union members in North Carolina — including the union members at Duke — stand in solidarity with Duke graduate student workers in their campaign to organize a union with SEIU.

As someone who was a research assistant for over six years when I was in graduate school, I know firsthand how hard graduate students work for low pay, few benefits, and with little control over your work. I wish I had a union, and I am thrilled that graduate workers now have that right.

I know that if the adjunct faculty union here at Duke could form the first union at a major private university in the South, that graduate students here at Duke can have the same historic victory. The AFL-CIO and our state’s labor movement, will stand with you on that path to victory.

We will not stop until graduate workers, adjunct faculty, and other employees in our public universities in this state have the same right to organize and collectively bargain. By coming together to organize with SEIU, Duke graduate workers can be an inspiration to working people all around this country!