MIT Grad Students Slam Union with Federal Discrimination Charges

“First, no principles, teachings, or tenets of Judaism prohibit membership in or the payment of dues or fees to a labor union . . . Secondly, the statements in your letter demonstrate that your objection to paying dues is based on your political views and not your religious belief.”

This was the brazen response of United Electrical (UE) union officials to five Jewish graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who sought legally-required religious accommodations to the forced payment of dues to the Graduate Student Union (GSU, an affiliate of UE). The students, William Sussman, Joshua Fried, Akiva Gordon, Adina Bechhofer, and Tamar Kadosh Zhitomirsky see funding the union as a violation of their Jewish faith due to, among other reasons, the union’s vocal support for the anti-Israel “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) movement. […]

“GSU union officials appear blinded by their political agenda and their desire to extract forced dues,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Their idea of ‘representation’ apparently includes forcing Jewish graduate students to pay money to a union the students believe has relentlessly denigrated their religious and cultural identity.

“GSU union bosses’ refusal to grant these students religious accommodations is as illegal as it is unconscionable, and Foundation attorneys will fight for their freedom from this tyrannical union hierarchy,” Mix added.


All contents from this article were originally published on the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Website.

If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help. To take action by supporting The National Right to Work Committee and fueling the fight against Forced Unionism, click here to donate now.

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