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Yale University’s would-be graduate student union has withdrawn its petition to form a union affiliated with Unite Here from the National Labor Relations Board. Graduate students in eight Yale departments announced they'd voted to unionize as part of a novel “micro-unit” strategy last year, but Yale has challenged the validity of that approach, details of the election and the general notion that graduate students are employees entitled to collective bargaining. The union said in a statement that it withdrew its petition over concerns that the NLRB under President Trump is increasingly hostile to union interests.

Graduate students on other private campuses have expressed similar concerns, and in particularly ominous news for Yale organizers, the NLRB in December ruled against a micro-unit organizing approach in a health care-related case. “We continue to call on the Yale administration to address graduate teacher concerns and stand with the labor movement and against the Trump administration stripping us and thousands of other workers of our rights,” Unite Here Local 33 said in a statement.

Yale said in a separate statement that it has “steadfastly maintained that Local 33’s micro-unit strategy was inappropriate and that the departmental elections were undemocratic.” The institution remains “deeply committed to graduate student education, and to providing its teaching fellows with the mentorship and training necessary to complete their degrees and go on to rewarding careers,” it said.