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Johns Hopkins Graduate Student-Workers Picket, Negotiations Stall

Above photo: Maximillian Alvarez.

One year after their historic union election victory, Johns Hopkins grad workers say they’re hitting a dead end at the bargaining table.

So they’re hitting the streets, putting on practice pickets to build a credible strike threat and show the administration what’s in store if more progress is not made in bargaining soon.

One year ago, graduate student-workers at Johns Hopkins University overwhelmingly voted to unionize under the banner of Teachers and Researchers United (TRU-UE), which is affiliated with United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers. While workers had much to celebrate with their historic union election victory, bargaining a first contract with the university administration has been another story. On February 20, fed up with what workers say have been disrespectful and insufficient offers from the university administration, TRU-UE members held practice pickets on campus to show the administration what’s in store if more progress is not made at the bargaining table soon. In this on-the-ground episode, we take you straight to the picket line to hear from worker-organizers about what they’re fighting for and what they’re asking supporters to do to help.

Speakers include: Janvi Madhani, TRU Bargaining Committee member pursuing a PhD in Physics and Astronomy; Lyla Atta, TRU organizer and MD-PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering; Jeffrey Davis, Bargaining Committee member and grad worker studying Physics and Astronomy; Emily Hoppe, Contract Action Team Organizer, School of Nursing; and Zeke Cohen, Johns Hopkins alumnus and City Councilman for Baltimore City’s First District.

Transcript

Picketers:  Union power!

Speaker 1:  What do we want?

Picketers:  Fair contracts!

Speaker 1:  When do we want it?

Picketers:  Now!

Speaker 1:  And if we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 1:  If we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 1:  What do we want?

Picketers:  A fair contract!

Speaker 1:  When do we want it?

Picketers:  Now!

Speaker 1:  And if we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 1:  If we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 1:  When I say union, you say power. Union!

Picketers:  Power!

Speaker 1:  Union!

Picketers:  Power!

Speaker 1:  When I say union, you say power. Union!

Picketers:  Power!

Speaker 1:  Union!

Picketers:  Power!

Speaker 1:  Who are we?

Picketers:  UE!

Speaker 1:  Who are we?

Picketers:  UE!

Speaker 1:  Who are we?

Picketers:  UE!

Speaker 1:  Who are we?

Picketers:  UE!

Maximillian Alvarez:  All right. Welcome, everyone, to this special on-the-ground episode of Working People, a podcast about the lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles of the working class today. Brought to you in partnership with In These Times magazine and The Real News Network, produced by Jules Taylor, and made possible by the support of listeners like you.

My name is Maximilian Alvarez and I am reporting from the Johns Hopkins University East Baltimore campus on Tuesday, February 20, where graduate student-workers are holding the first of two practice pickets today. As we previously reported at The Real News, it was a year ago that grad workers at Hopkins held, and overwhelmingly won, their union election, voting to unionize under the banner of Teachers and Researchers United which is affiliated with United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers, or UE.

While workers celebrated their historic union victory, bargaining a first contract with the university administration has been another story. One year after their election victory, we are here because workers feel they are hitting a dead end at the bargaining table. So they are hitting the streets, putting on practice picket lines to build a credible strike threat, and to show the university administration what is in store if more progress is not made at the bargaining table soon.

Speaker 1:  It’s so great to see everyone here to start our very first practice picket. Today, we are out here to show Hopkins a glimpse of what’s to come if they continue to stall at the marketing table. Everyone out here has their hopes for what a fair contract will bring us. Whether it’s wages, benefits, transit, protections against abusive advisors, or union shop, everyone has their hopes for how our lives as graduate workers can and should be better. But we’re here because we know that when each of us tries to achieve these things alone, we’re met with obstacle after obstacle, told it’s simply not possible, and that what we want is unrealistic. But only together are we able to demand tangible improvements to our material conditions.

The administration strives to keep us isolated, working alone, jumping through meaningless hoops, and navigating arbitrary university structures. For too long, we have tried to appeal to the goodwill of an institution that is fundamentally an exploitative and profit-maximizing hedge fund disguised as an educational institution. We unionize because we know that we will only win the working conditions we deserve together. And this is why we are out here today – We are here because we know the power of the collective and we are ready to use it. We’re here because we are sick of the hypocrisy of this institution.

Picketers: [Cheering]

Speaker 1:  Hopkins, we are sick of your wellness emails when you won’t provide us with fair wages and benefits that mean we don’t have to spend more than 50% of our incomes on rent, that we don’t have to be afraid that an unexpected health emergency is going to put us into debt, that we don’t have to wait for weeks to access a mental health care provider, and that we don’t have to postpone having kids because childcare would cost our entire stipends and your supposed subsidized childcare has a two-year-long waitlist.

We are here because we are sick of the hypocrisy at this institution. Hopkins, we are sick of hearing about how you are a leading public health institution when you refuse to provide evidence-based COVID protections that protect us and our community from an infection that is still killing and disabling thousands.

Picketers:  Shame! Shame!

Speaker 1:  We are sick of hearing about how you’re a leading public health institution when you continue to be complicit in a genocide where people are being killed not only with weapons that are developed from research at this institution but also from hunger and disease that are easily cured while you remain silent.

Picketers:  [Cheering]

Speaker 1:  For too long we’ve been told that this university cares about us and is here to support us. But time and time again, the university fails to provide even the most basic protections for health and safety, protections against sexual assault and harassment, protection from unfair discipline, and dismissal from abusive advisors.

Picketers:  Shame! Shame!

Speaker 1:  Time and time again, Hopkins has shown that the only thing it cares about is maintaining power and profiting off of our labor. So we are here today because we are demanding better.

Picketers:  [Cheering]

Speaker 1:  For the first time in the history of this institution, graduate workers have organized like never before. We have shown that when we are organized, we win. We know our power because we have seen it. After giving testimonials at the bargaining table, we won one of the strongest non-discrimination and grievance procedure articles of all of our peers. After making noise outside of the bargaining table on both campuses, we saw the admin raise the stipend for the 40,000.

But that’s not enough. After admin heard from underpaid and overworked research workers, they agreed to guaranteed funding for up to three years in departments that previously had no guaranteed funding. At the leading public health institution, this is still not enough.

Picketers: [Chanting]  Not enough! Not enough!

Speaker 1:  After admin felt the strength of our opposition to the JHPD, we won unprecedented language that explicitly protects our right to gather here today in a labor demonstration without being subject to the violence of JHPD. We know our power because just last week when Hopkins heard that we were organizing for this picket, they immediately scheduled additional bargaining sessions. This is why we have to show Hopkins that thousands of us are united behind a fair contract and we won’t settle for less than what we’re worth.

Our demands are clear; We want union power. We want union power in the form of union shop, fair wages and benefits, and the recognition of our work as worth. But Hopkins continues to stall at the table. They continue to withhold union shop from us. They want to weaken our union by making sure we cannot build long-term union security. They continue to refuse protections against unfair discipline and discharge.

They have also explicitly told us at the table that they recognize our research output as a vital source of income for the university, but they will still not protect our research work in our contract. We cannot accept a contract in which the admin reserves the right to unfairly discipline and discharge us without due process because they do not believe our research is work.

Picketers:  Boo!

Speaker 1:  We unionized for 101 reasons, each one important enough to warrant a union on its own. But fundamentally, we unionized because this is a class war and our bosses are working together to withhold our rights as a class because they are a class. The administration has all the money, they have all the power, and it’s in their interest to maintain this power imbalance because this is fundamentally a conflict between our labor and their capital.

And in this fight, what do we have? We have our labor. We run JHU. Our research and our teaching runs this university and we deserve dignified working conditions. The admin is terrified of us because they know just how much it would hurt the university if we were to withhold our labor. Because graduate workers are the lifeblood of academic institutions.

Picketers:  [Cheering]

Speaker 1:  Our labor is the reason this university claims prestige, and our labor is being exploited to line the pockets of admins with millions and record profits. But record profits are unpaid wages.

Picketers:  [Cheering] Yeah!

Speaker 1:  But record profits are unpaid wages and we’ll not accept the continued exploitation of our labor. Not only are we here to leverage our labor for a fair contract, we are here to build real community power against extractive and predatory institutions like Hopkins. The same systems that exploit our labor are the same systems that disparage the city. Union power is community power.

I am honored to be standing here today surrounded by so many of our organizers, coworkers, community members, and other campus labor unions to show Hopkins that we are united, we are organized, and we are here to fight for the contract we deserve. We will do this again and again, bigger and louder, and be more and more disruptive until we create a crisis so huge, that they’re forced to realize that their fight is futile. When we’re organized and when we mobilize, we win. We will get fair wages and benefits. We will get protection from unfair discipline. We will get union shop. That’s by asking you this: What do we want?

Picketers:  A fair contract!

Speaker 1:  When do we want it?

Picketers:  Now!

Speaker 1:  What do we want?

Picketers:  A fair contract!

Speaker 1:  When do we want it?

Picketers:  Now!

Speaker 1:  If we don’t get?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 1:  If we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 1:  If we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 1:  Thank you all.

Speaker 2:  Thank you all for coming out and making your voice heard. You’re one of the first batch of about 400 more people that are coming throughout the day. I believe the admin will feel this and feel pressure to give us a just and fair contract. I, and many of us at the bargaining committee, have been fighting for the last nine months, fighting for a just and fair contract against our obstructionist and uncaring administration, and we will see them again at the bargaining table on Thursday.

We as the bargaining committee can make our best effort to move the admin in the room, but there is only so much that can be won at the bargaining table. Our power does not come from how eloquently we can tell some deans and lawyers in a conference room that we deserve a fair contract. There is no magic set of words that will suddenly convince the administration to abandon their cruelty and complete disregard for us as workers.

The only true leverage we have is threatening to collectively withhold our labor from this university. They refuse to acknowledge our value to this university and are acting as if our labor isn’t what drives this university. We have reached a point in the negotiations where the only way forward is to unequivocally show the administration that without us, this place grinds to a halt. We need to build a credible strike threat and make it so they can no longer be willfully ignorant of our power. The fact is that you, the members of TRU, have the final say in the contract that we win.

If you want a higher salary, you must build and help us build a credible strike threat. If you want a strong union, build a credible strike threat. If you want better healthcare, help us build a credible strike threat. We have seen time and time again that the university admin moves when they see our power through collective action. Let’s make things simple for them. Let’s all tell Hopkins, here and now, that all of us here and the thousands that makeup TRU-UE are ready to exercise our power and demand the contract that we deserve. And if we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Speaker 2:  Shut it down! In order to build this credible strike threat, we have a very important meeting coming up on March 5. This is a GMM where we will have all of our voices heard and we will talk about what needs to be done in order to build this credible strike threat. So I have one ask of you: RSVP for this GMM and help us win a fair contract and take all that we deserve from the administration. I’ll be holding RSVP signs. Please pull out your phones now, scan this QR code, and register to be at the next GMM. Thank you.

Emily Hoppe:  Hi everyone, my name is Emily Hoppe. I’m a fourth-year PhD worker in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. I came to Hopkins for college almost 20 years ago in 2005. After my Bachelor of Arts, I stayed for my Bachelor in Nursing and then I worked as a staff nurse and nurse practitioner. In 2020, I returned to the university to get my PhD in nursing. Spending this much time at Hopkins has made me question a lot of things, including most of my life choices. But if there’s one thing I have never been clear about today, it is that union power is absolutely necessary. It is necessary to make Hopkins change how it treats workers, and that is why they are so scared of our power as a union.

Did you know that nurses at Johns Hopkins Hospital tried to unionize? Most recently in 2018. The hospital responded with union-busting tactics such as denying nurses access to break rooms and prohibiting nurses from talking about the union at work. The National Labor Relations Board ultimately found that by taking these actions, Johns Hopkins broke the law. We can see that Johns Hopkins is terrified of union power because unions will force Johns Hopkins to change.

Nurses at other hospitals have used union power not only to achieve fair wages, but also to ensure safe nurse-to-patient ratios, access to PPE, and reduction of violence within hospitals. These are changes that benefit not only nurses but the patients and communities that nurses serve. We have an opportunity to make a similarly huge impact at TRU-UE with our collective power. I’m passionate about the work we do at the union for many reasons and I’m going to talk about two of them today.

The first is that we face multiple public health crises that can only be solved by experts whose roots are in the communities of those most impacted by these crises. However, these very same people face unnecessary administration-made barriers to doctoral education. For example, we have a Black maternal health crisis in this country. Nationally, Black women are three times as likely to die in childbirth as white women. It is a matter of life and death that Black women lead the way in ending this crisis, and yet, Black women face so many barriers to doctoral education rooted in structural racism, misogyny, and other social forces that Johns Hopkins is upholding with their actions.

As PhD workers, they are denied time off to attend to care for their own family members, denied adequate pay to be financially secure, and face harassment and discrimination at work. Our colleagues who are best equipped to lead us toward lifesaving solutions also face the most barriers and receive inadequate support in their quest to do so and this must change.

Another reason I am so passionate about our work as a union is that I have witnessed my coworkers suffer from the precarity and inhumanity of our working conditions, and I am certain it doesn’t need to be this way. As a nurse, I donated to a paid time off pool so a fellow nurse could remain at the bedside of her premature NICU baby instead of having to return to work.

Picketers:  [Chanting] Shame!

Emily Hoppe:  As a graduate worker, I have sat with friends who are parents of young children as we tried to figure out where their funding would come from next year; funding that was literally feeding their families. It really doesn’t need to be this way and we have the power to change it.

Hopkins researchers say that housing stability is a core component of health, yet 86% of our members are rent-burdened. Hopkins researchers say that food insecurity is associated with lower graduation rates, yet roughly a quarter of graduate students are food insecure. Hopkins researchers have identified clear evidence that poverty is linked to depression, yet the administration continues to return counter offers on compensation and benefits that are woefully inadequate.

Picketers:  Boo! Shame!

Emily Hoppe:  We need union power to protect workers from exploitation, discrimination, and harassment. We need union power to insist on fair compensation and the ability to become expert scholars without being driven into poverty and debt. We need union power to push back against policies that throw our neighbors under the bus and put our campus community at neighboring communities at risk, including from abuse of power and discriminatory policing. We need union power to create working conditions where we are respected as workers and where we can value our work as work.

Picketers:  [Cheering]

Emily Hoppe:  The administration seems to believe that a career and scholarship is only for those who are married to wealthy spouses, are privileged with generational wealth, and have no children or caregiving responsibilities. But we have the power to tell them otherwise. We can tell them that we all belong here, that those of us who are struggling to make this work are the ones who most deserve to be here. Let’s tell them about our different, better, inclusive, thriving visions of graduate school where we don’t have to suffer, where we don’t have to choose between visiting our dying family members and being disciplined for time away. Where we don’t have to choose between completing our dissertation and working three other jobs. We are here to demand union power for a better life for all of us. And I am so excited to see it happen and I will strike for it if I have to.

Picketers:  We’ve got the power!

Emily Hoppe:  What kind of power?

Picketers:  Union power!

Emily Hoppe:  What do we want?

Picketers:  A fair contract!

Emily Hoppe:  When do we want it?

Picketers:  Now!

Emily Hoppe:  What do we want?

Picketers:  A fair contract!

Emily Hoppe:  When do we want it?

Picketers:  Now!

Emily Hoppe:  What do we want?

Picketers:  A fair contract!

Emily Hoppe:  When do we want it?

Picketers:  Now!

Emily Hoppe:  And if we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Emily Hoppe:  If we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down!

Emily Hoppe:  If we don’t get it?

Picketers:  Shut it down.

Emily Hoppe:  Who are we?

Picketers:  UE!

Emily Hoppe:  Who are we?

Picketers:  UE!

Emily Hoppe:  Who are we?

Picketers:  UE!

Emily Hoppe:  Union!

Picketers:  Power!

Emily Hoppe:  Union!

Picketers:  Power!

Emily Hoppe:  Union!

Picketers:  Power!

Emily Hoppe:  When I say strike, you say ready. Strike!

Picketers:  Ready!

Emily Hoppe:  Strike!

Picketers:  Ready!

Emily Hoppe:  Strike!

Picketers:  Ready!

Zeke Cohen:  Hey. Good morning everybody. How’s everybody doing? How’s everybody feeling? My name is Zeke Cohen. I represent District One on the Baltimore City Council, and I’m proud to be standing with you on the picket line today. I wanted to come here because I studied at this school, and I got my graduate degree here. My wife studied medicine here, she did her residency here. This institution was a leader in the COVID fight. But when you love a place, you reserve the right to criticize a place. And in this case, we need Johns Hopkins to do better for its workers.

And let me be clear, the thing that made my graduate degree great wasn’t the leadership of the institution, it was the working people. It was the janitors and administrative staff. It was the adjuncts. It was the other grad students who were working. It was the workers that made Johns Hopkins great and it is the workers that deserve an excellent union contract. Let me say this, we are part of a rising tide of organized labor across this city and across this country.

And I’ll say this too, I hope we don’t have to strike, but if we do, I will stand here with you on the picket line and represent the Baltimore City Council in supporting the workers in your demands. Let me close by saying this, no matter what, no matter the barriers you face, we deserve a union right here at Johns Hopkins, and I stand with you. Thank you for being out here today, and I look forward to being back in the picket line whenever.

Emily Hoppe:  Hi, I am Emily Hoppe. I am a fourth-year PhD worker at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. I’m also a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and an organizer. I’ve been an organizer with TRU-UE for about a year now.

Janvi Madhani:  Hi, I’m Janvi Madhani. I’m a fourth-year graduate worker in physics and astronomy and I am a member of the bargaining committee. And I’ve also been organizing with TRU-UE for about three and a half years.

Maximillian Alvarez:  Well, Janvi and Emily, thank you both so much for chatting with me. We are standing here on the picket line in front of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, East Baltimore campus. Your fellow grad workers and union members are marching with picket signs about 10 feet away from where we are currently standing. I was wondering if we could start here and give listeners a sense of where we are, why you’re here, and what’s going on, and then we’ll dig back into the story of how we ended up here.

Emily Hoppe:  Okay. We’re at our TRU-UE first practice picket, which is happening in front of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dome, and we’ll continue on the Homewood Campus this afternoon. Our coworkers have come out here to let the Johns Hopkins administration know that we are organized, we are getting frustrated with contract negotiations, and we are ready to continue to escalate.

Janvi Madhani:  So our core demands are the recognition of our work, primarily our research as work, in the contract that deserves contract protections. We also want fair wages and benefits, fair compensation for the work and labor we provide to the university, and then also we really want a union shop. Union shop means we want long-term union security. And of course, this is something that the university wants to withhold from us in order to weaken our union power here. So yeah, our members are turning up the heat today and making sure that these three demands come through really clear to the administration.

Maximillian Alvarez:  I always love this as a former grad worker myself. In fact, the only union job I’ve ever had was at the University of Michigan as a grad worker. Shout out to GEO. But this part of the university’s argument always tickled me. Where they say grad workers aren’t workers, the work you do is not work. You’re learning, you’re getting training. It’s like, all right motherfucker, let’s see how the university does without it then. So I’m speaking for myself, no one else here, but that part always stuck out to me as ridiculous and it seems I’m not alone. It seems like that is the message that y’all are sending to the university, building this strike threat.

I’m sensing echoes here of what we saw over the past year with the UPS Teamsters, with the UAW Auto Workers, building a contract campaign, doing these practice pickets, showing the companies and the employers what a credible strike threat you have and the strength of the membership because that helps at the bargaining table. It lets the employer know that you’re serious. So I want to ask, what brought us to this point? The last time we had folks from this union on was a year ago, right when y’all had the historic and overwhelming election where grad workers voted to join or to form a union. So what’s been happening since then at the bargaining table? Can you tell us a little more about what reaction you’ve been getting from the university? What has been the holdup and what brought us to this point here?

Janvi Madhani:  Yeah, that’s an excellent question. We had this massive victory after the election, we won with 97%. That really set us up for a lot of power at the bargaining table, knowing that our membership was behind us and fighting for this fair contract. Since then, we started off with our non-economic proposals, including stuff like non-discrimination, grievance procedures, et cetera, and every step of the way we’ve really, really had to fight tooth and nail to win these protections.

It took incredible movement from our membership in order to get them to move the needle on things that we consider basic protections like protections against sexual harassment and abuse from advisors, in terms of a strong non-discrimination proposal. It’s truly been a membership-led effort making sure the admin has a pulse on how angry our members are, that they’re being disrespected, and denied these rights at the bargaining table.

So now we are in this next stage of the contract fight in which we introduced the economic versions of our proposals. That includes stuff like fair compensation and benefits and we are being hit with the most incredible disrespect for the labor we do. One, we already talked about the fact that they don’t recognize our research as work. Specifically, they want to withhold a fair and due process for disciplining and discharging us because they believe that research is academic, what we do is training, and that has nothing to do with a contract. We know that this is a primary way in which they fire us as employees, and so that’s absolutely not acceptable to our membership.

Yeah. We’re really hitting this wall with them and it’s time for us to leverage our labor because ultimately, this is a conflict between our labor and their capital. They want to maintain this power imbalance in which they can continue denying us these rights because it allows them to maintain this power imbalance. We unionize because we need to have a fair say in our working conditions. This is our first step in making sure that they understand this is a real threat and our members are agitated, they’re mobilized, and we will leverage that labor.

Maximillian Alvarez:  Can I ask one quick question? I’ve been reading some of the reports about bargaining. Is the university’s main argument that the money’s not there or that you’re not workers and don’t deserve it?

Janvi Madhani:  That’s precisely it. They have told us that their offer of $40,000 with no benefits is incredibly generous for what we do. That is extremely disrespectful, knowing that that doesn’t even cover the cost of living, and doesn’t cover the range of experiences that graduate workers go through in their time at Johns Hopkins. They think that they’re being so generous. That’s how deeply they don’t value our work in labor. This is not about them not having money. Functionally, they’re a hedge fund that sits on billions of dollars of money and they don’t want us to have access to that.

Emily Hoppe:  Yeah, and I spoke about this earlier, but they really are not acknowledging that people need to eat, people need to live in houses, and without being paid, people who come here are not able to do that. Unless they have, apparently, what they think we should have, which is generational wealth and/or another family member who will provide for us while we pursue this eccentric hobby. So they clearly don’t truly value our work as work and it also has this very insidious effect of excluding people from academia very directly.

Janvi talked about what’s been going on with bargaining. On the organizing side, we’ve been building up amazing infrastructure. While it is very frustrating to see them stalling at the bargaining table, every time they come back to us with a meaningless counter-proposal, we get new members and it’s easier for us to help people see that the administration does not care about them and will not do anything for them unless they’re forced to. So that’s where we’re finding ourselves; There’s this huge momentum, not only because of the work that we’re doing but because of the work that Hopkins is doing for us.

Maximillian Alvarez:  Speaking of the barriers to different types of workers being able to live and work in academia, I remember going to the University of Michigan, coasting on the savings I’d accrued from working in restaurants in Chicago, and spending all of that on my apartment security deposit and a U-Haul. And when I told the university I didn’t have money to get by in Ann Arbor, they told me to take out a lot more credit cards or ask family. That was essentially their response.

I wanted to add that for folks listening to give a little texture to what we’re talking about here. In academia, like non-profits and so many other jobs where you are expected to be grateful that you’re there, that you have a place. And yet you’re paid as if you don’t need to have basic necessities like a roof over your head and food on your table, and that’s really what we’re talking about here. And we are talking on February 20, as I said at the top, in front of the East Baltimore Johns Hopkins campus. You all are going to be picketing across town later today, so I wanted to ask what happens next. What should folks in and around the city and beyond be looking forward to and what can folks do to help?

Janvi Madhani:  As Emily said, we are really starting to focus on organizing our members around building a credible strike threat, do this out of an absolute necessity, and not out of a choice. But they have forced our hand in terms of making sure that our members are now being talked to and organized around this idea of building a credible strike threat. So in terms of community support, it really, really helps when we have public-facing events like this to see the community show up in public and acknowledge that the way we are being treated is undignified and that they stand in support with us.

Emily Hoppe:  Yeah. Join us in our readiness to stand up to Hopkins for our members. The other thing is that we are facing the potential of a strike and we have members who are starting to think about how they’re going to deal with financial crises or other issues that may come up if pay is stopped. So we are starting a strike fund and if there are organizations in the community who have the resources and want to show support and solidarity in that way, that is another avenue for that.

Maximillian Alvarez:  All right gang, that’s going to wrap things up for us this week. As always, thank you for listening and thank you for caring.

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