University of Minnesota grad workers vote down unionization

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Graduate assistants at the University of Minnesota voted against forming a union 1,857 to 1,142, according to results released by the Bureau of Mediation Services Monday.

About 68 percent of the 4,400 eligible graduate student workers cast votes during last week’s election. They decided not to form a union with the help of the United Auto Workers.

Graduate students have been organizing on campus for the past two years. They collected signatures from more than 30 percent of the student body in order to put the union to a vote.

When University of Minnesota graduate student employees tried to form a union in 2004, they partnered with the United Electrical Workers.

In that election, 70 percent of eligible graduate student employees voted, with 60 percent voting against a union, according to Patti Dion, director of employee relations and compensation at the University.

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