“We voted YES!! International postdocs keep science running at Sinai! We deserve job security, financial stability, and a workplace free of discrimination and harassment.”

We had a great start to our strike authorization vote last week, with hundreds of postdocs participating so far. We’re excited to continue talking with colleagues about our historic vote this week.

In light of this level of interest and participation, we were particularly shocked and disappointed to see Deans Nestler and Filizola’s email last week claiming that “Holders of certain visa classifications may be affected in the event of a strike.” This vague and nebulous language seems intended to cause fear and confusion to discourage international postdocs from exercising our legal right to strike if we choose to do so. All workers, including international workers, have a right to strike without fear of retaliation from our employer.

Today we took action and filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against Sinai with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over this behavior. The charge states that Sinai violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by threatening negative consequences to international workers’ visa status for engaging in a lawful strike. We expect Sinai to cease this violation of labor law and retract the threat made to all international postdocs at Sinai.

Thousands of international postdocs at the University of California and the University of Washington went on strike over the past year, winning major improvements without any reported instances of the strike affecting anyone’s visa status. It would be just as important for international postdocs at Sinai to participate if we choose to strike in order to reach a fair agreement, and this illegal behavior on Sinai’s part is another reason to vote “yes” to authorize our Bargaining Committee to call a strike. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at organizing@sinaipostdocunion.org with any questions or concerns instead of contacting Sinai’s International Personnel office.

If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, follow these steps to look for and cast your ballot:

  1. Search your inbox for an email from invitations@mail.electionbuddy.com with the subject line “Vote now: SPOC-UAW Strike Authorization Vote”. This email contains your individualized link to vote.
  2. If you can’t find it in your inbox, check your spam or promotions folder in case.
  3. You may also have received a text message with a link to your ballot around 10:00am on Thursday morning (August 10).
  4. If you still can’t find an email or text with your ballot, send an email to elections@sinaipostdocunion.org so we can help you locate it.
  5. If you have questions about our strike authorization vote or what a strike could be like here at Sinai, check out our updated website FAQ.

Check out some pictures that postdocs have submitted, along with their reasons for voting “yes” to authorize a strike if circumstances justify it. If you want to share a picture or testimonial, feel free to send it to organizing@sinaipostdocunion.org!

Let’s keep it up on week 2 of our vote! And please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions,

Aritz Irizar,
Genetics and Genomic Sciences