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Harvard faces setback in student unionization dispute

DOJ Harvard probe

A federal panel has rejected Harvard University's attempt to prevent a new election that would decide if graduate students will form a union, paving the way for a new vote.

The National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday upheld a decision by a regional labor panel that nullified the results of a November 2016 election. Early results from the election found that students voted against unionizing, but 300 ballots were challenged and weren't counted.

The ruling means Harvard will likely hold a new election, possibly in early 2018, that will decide whether eligible students can form a union, according to The Harvard Crimson. The effort could lead to eligible graduate research and teaching assistants and undergraduate teaching assistants collectively bargaining with the Ivy League university. 

The regional panel concluded Harvard published an incomplete list of students who were eligible to vote and ordered a new election.

Harvard appealed the decision.

The Harvard Graduate Students Union applauded the national labor panel's ruling and said members are focused on organizing students.

Harvard called the decision disappointing.

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