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University of Southern California postdoctoral scholars have “resoundingly” voted to unionize, the new union announced Monday.

The vote, held Thursday and Friday, was 200 to 15 to form USC Researchers and Fellows United, the organization announced in a news release. The union, affiliated with the UAW, said it will represent 450 total employees.

“Postdocs make critical contributions to research at USC, but lack secure rights and protections in the workplace and struggle with low compensation, limited support for international scholars and the crushing cost of childcare,” the release said. “Many have experienced discrimination and abusive conduct and have been unable to access adequate recourse.”

The National Labor Relations Board website says the union will represent postdoctoral research associates, fellowship trainees and teaching fellows, but not visiting fellows.

Dani Cotton, a postdoctoral scholar, said in the union’s release that it is seeking, among other things, “strong protections against abuse and harassment.” Cotton said, “We look forward to working with USC to raise standards and ensure our research is sustainable.”

In a statement Monday, the university said, “We respect the outcome of the election, but we are disappointed to lose the direct relationship with our postdoctoral scholars. We are proud of the competitive benefits, compensation and flexibility we offer our employees and look forward to sitting down with the union to negotiate a contract in good faith.”