Stand with Boston College graduate workers who were peacefully engaging in their free speech and workers rights
On September 28, a group of graduate workers who attended the parents weekend speech by Father Leahy took the rare opportunity of being in the same room as the BC president to make a statement in support of graduate workers’ rights. Later that day, many graduate workers joined together outside Conte Forum to pass out flyers to attendees of the Pops on the Heights concert and inform the public about BC’s refusal to bargain with us.
Boston College has appallingly chosen to discipline graduate workers who were peacefully engaging in their free speech and workers rights. Furthermore, during the flyering action we had an agreement with the administration about where we could pass out flyers, and our members held to that agreement. It is unreasonable and in bad faith that BC is now going back on their word.
This is another attempt by the BC administration to stifle free speech on campus, and an attempt to deny us our rights as workers. They have denied their obligation to bargain with graduate workers after our vote. They have denied our calls to be heard when we’ve come to them. They’ve denied the Catholic social justice teachings that recognize the dignity of work and the rights of workers. The actions of BC’s administrators are unacceptable.
Dear Father Leahy and Boston College Board of Trustees:
We urge you to stop your efforts to punish graduate student workers for exercising their basic labor rights on campus. For more than a year, you have refused to honor the results of these workers’ decisive, democratic vote in favor of unionization. And now your administration has opted to unjustly discipline more than a dozen graduate student workers who engaged in peaceful efforts to distribute leaflets and exercise their free speech right to inform the public of the college’s refusal to bargain. Your attempt to silence these workers is unacceptable and directly contradicts Jesuit values.
Catholic social justice teachings support workers’ rights. Nine other private universities (including Harvard, Brandeis, and Tufts in the Boston area, plus a fellow Jesuit institution, Georgetown University) have already agreed to bargain with graduate workers after they vote to unionize. Boston College needs to stop defying history and Catholic teachings by coming to the bargaining table.