Labor Relations Board to hear objections in Pitt graduate workers union election |
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Deb Erdley

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing Tuesday to weigh unfair labor practice charges and objections the United Steelworkers filed in conjunction with a union election last month among University of Pittsburgh graduate student workers.

Graduate student organizers charged that Pitt officials acted illegally to influence the outcome of last month’s union election.

Pitt officials said the university encouraged more than 2,000 graduate student research and teaching assistants eligible to participate in the election to vote, but did nothing wrong.

A preliminary tally of the results of the election showed 675 votes for the union and 712 against it, with 153 ballots under challenge.

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ruled the election inconclusive, pending a resolution of the organizers’ charges.

The vote capped a three-year organizing drive by graduate student workers who were attempting to organize under the auspices of the USW’s Academic Workers Association. The group previously conducted successful organizing drives among part-time faculty at Robert Morris, Point Park and Duquesne universities.

Union organizers want the state Labor Relations Board to set aside the election results and direct a new election.

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