The UMass Amherst Labor Center stands in solidarity with GEO-UAW Local 2322, the union that represents graduate assistants at UMass Amherst. GEO members are fighting for summer funding, a stay on evictions from graduate student housing, and economic security for international students.
Though we support efforts to stop the spread of the virus, the current lockdown makes it impossible for graduate students to support themselves. On- and off-campus jobs have all but disappeared, making it virtually impossible for GEO members to find employment of any kind. This is especially true for international students who are only eligible for on-campus work. Meanwhile the UMass Amherst administration continues with plans to close down graduate student housing at a time when GEO members are at risk of homelessness.
We urge the employer to agree to the union’s demands. Now is not the time for austerity. Now is the time for the UMass community to stick together. That is what we are doing, and we ask the administration to do the same.