Why does CGSU want union shop?

Why is CGSU demanding a union shop

CGSU insists that the only way to be an effective bargaining representative is to create a union shop, a system in which Cornell would require all graduate students to join a national union with a political agenda and activities they may or may not support. Should any grad student formally object to affiliating with UE or CGSU for any reason, they  would forfeit all of their privileges to participate in union officer elections, contract ratification, and policy making, and still be forced to pay essentially the same dues to CGSU-UE. Union shop forces a choice on graduate students between supporting political activity that may violate their conscience and disenfranchisment in the very union business intended to protect them. Though curtailing the freedom of association to achieve economic benefits could make sense in some industries, academia isn't one of them. 

Enough rhetoric, show us the evidence!

“Union shop institutes fairness and power!”

“Without union shop… we would spend all of our capacity signing up members... we would have less time to organize around real issues.”

"When you voted 'yes' for CGSU-UE, you voted for union shop."

You did no such thing! This claim is patently false as union shop agreements must be negotiated. Your vote to certify CGSU in November has no bearing at all on a union shop clause. CGSU was silent about union shop until months after the election, blindsiding many grads who supported unionization based on the original platform. 

"The choice is between a strong union and a weak union."

CGSU knows this isn't true because they told us so last year:

“They want us to start from scratch in our campaign every contract cycle, which undermines our collective bargaining power” 

"to support our members and keep our organization strong..."

What are some of these expenses necessary for union power?

In reality, the vast majority of dues go straight into national UE's pockets.

"... the dues of unionized workers across the country are being used to get CGSU to our first contract!"


“Our locally sourced dues go to us first, as per UE policy.”

“We can only maintain collective power...” 

“It will be nearly impossible to secure in the future” 

If you feel that a union shop is inappropriate for an academic setting, please sign our open letter to the Cornell Administration (you can remain anonymous). If you want to learn more about what's in it for UE, click here. We invite everyone with questions and comments to reach out to us