Opinion guest column

The risks and costs of unionization

Before voting April 4–5, graduate students should carefully consider the potential risks, losses, and costs that a union can bring

On April 4 and 5, many of MIT’s graduate students will participate in a confidential election to decide whether the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) will represent them for collective bargaining.

We’ve previously described our position, the limits of unionization and labor bargaining in graduate education, and the gains won for all MIT graduate students through our current collaborative processes. Today we share some of the risks, losses, and costs that graduate students might face if a union is elected:

The UE and its supporters in the MIT Graduate Student Union argue that a union would change campus for the better. It may also change it for the worse:

Every eligible student should critically assess the different positions in this debate and vote on April 4 or 5 in Morss Hall in Walker Memorial. This election’s outcome will be determined by a simple majority of those who vote but will be binding on everyone in the proposed bargaining unit — even for students who don’t vote or who don’t want a union.