By Katherine Broekman, Guillermo Carranza Jordan, Zoey Chopra, Manuel Fernando Perez, and Angela Xia
Last week, Joseph Siegel, CC ’20, wrote an op-ed criticizing the Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers for exercising their democratic right to strike. Siegel urged undergraduates to oppose the union, claiming that a strike would “unfairly punish” them by disrupting classes, setting precedent for more strikes to occur. Calling the strike-authorization vote a case of “a privileged few demanding yet more privilege,” Siegel accused supporters of the union—which include undergraduate teaching assistants—of being selfish, elitist, enabling, and undemocratic, claims which we, as undergraduate TAs, wholeheartedly reject. Teaching assistants, both graduate and undergraduate, play an integral part in undergraduate education, and their right to unionize should concern all students....