All of the original eight graduate students who went on hunger strike two weeks ago to pressure Yale to negotiate with Local 33 have now ended their fasts.
Since Local 33’s Tuesday demonstration on Cross Campus, the three remaining fasters — Emily Sessions GRD ’19, Lukas Moe GRD ’19 and Charles Decker GRD ’18 — have dropped out of the union’s two-week-old hunger strike for medical reasons. They have been replaced by three other graduate students: Loren Waller GRD ’21, Jeffrey Niedermaier GRD ’20 and Eric Feltham GRD ’22.
The other five hunger strikers — Alyssa Battistoni GRD ’18, Sarah Arveson ’21, Alex Kolokotronis GRD ’22, Chris McGowan GRD ’21 and Jeremie Koenig GRD ’18 — stepped in to replace members of the original group at various points over the last week.
At a protest on Beinecke Plaza earlier today, Moe told the News that he ended his fast on Wednesday after losing 20 pounds in two weeks. Decker, who was also at the demonstration, said he will continue to protest Yale’s intransigence even though his fast has ended.
“As you can see, you can’t keep me away from important actions like this,” Decker said. “It’s so amazing and courageous just the way that my colleagues are willing to make a public stand.”
The hunger strike began on April 25, after Yale missed Local 33’s deadline to begin contract negotiations. The University has refused to sit down with Local 33 since the union won labor elections in eight departments in February, because it still has legal appeals pending in front of the National Labor Relations Board. But Local 33 supporters argue that Yale is stalling to give President Donald Trump time to fill the NLRB with anti-union appointees.
This story has been updated to include the names of the three students who replaced Sessions, Moe and Decker.