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Workers sit in during union recognition effort at Marquette, driven out by cops

By staff |
May 17, 2019
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Sit-in for recognition at Zilber Hall
Sit-in for recognition at Zilber Hall (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Milwaukee, WI - For the past several months, non-tenured faculty and graduate students at Marquette University have been organizing to form a union. They held rallies, distributed petitions and returned to administration demanding to be recognized and negotiated with as equals. In response, Marquette's administration has offered empty promises to "follow the law," and refuses anything further.

On May 15, the union took a step forward, with workers and supporters staging a sit-in for recognition at Zilber hall on Marquette's campus that held on through the night. The administration met with the workers at 3:30 p.m. on May 16 and stated that police had been assembled to force the workers and their supporters into "free speech pens" to stop them from interfering with business.

At that point, the workers marched out in unison, and are vowing to continue the fight in the days and weeks to come.

"The purpose of the sit-in was to get a fair process. Administration has refused to agree to respect the results of a fair and democratic election," says Tom Hansberger, a lecturer, and union organizer at Marquette.

The effort, if successful, will include large numbers of lecturers at Marquette's campus who, like many workers across the United States, have been largely ignored through the years as profits soar and the cost of living has risen.

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