ANN ARBOR, Mich. — This past Friday, a group of over 250 undergraduate students protested University of Michigan’s decisions regarding COVID-19. The protesters were students in the activist organization-Students Demand Representation.
They then marched alongside the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) and the Residential Advisors (RAs) on their campus. They were also joined by the campus dining hall staff as they walked off the job in protest of the administration’s poor response to the pandemic.
The protest began by the group gathering on the steps of the Michigan Union.
State House Rep. Youseff Rabhi and representatives from Students Demand Representation, Lecturers' Union (LEO), Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), La Casa, and the Black Student Union, all spoke on the power of labor unions to inspire change and protect the health and safety of university workers.
For many workers like undergrad RA, Sabina Carty, quitting their job to stay healthy is not an option.
“Once I’m fired, I’m not just losing my job, I’m homeless… I don’t have a place to eat anymore,” said Carty.
A major focus of the protest was the university administration’s overall refusal to use more funding from the second largest public endowment in the world to increase COVID-19 testing. The students shared their concerns about this.
At this point, multiple labor unions on campus and non-unionized student employees have gone on strike, canceled classes, halted construction, and participated in walk-outs.
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