NYU Trustee’s Anti-Union Thugs Threaten to Assault NYU Students

by The North Star on September 13, 2012

On Tuesday, NYU’s Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM) organized a rally in solidarity with nursing home workers on strike against efforts to slash their benefits. These workers work at nursing homes owned by Daniel Straus, a member of the Executive Committee of the New York University (NYU) Law School Board of Trustees and a major NYU donor. Straus gives over $1 million a year to endow the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice at the Law School.

Our peaceful rally was marred by anti-union thugs who yelled homophobic slurs at us and verbally threatened to assault NYU students. They promised one student they would “knock him out” and “find him” after the rally.

Unbelievable? Yes. But here’s the video:

Many of these anti-union thugs claimed to be nursing home workers, yet when asked which nursing home they worked in, they pointed to the building behind them — the Straus Institute! And when asked what their signs, which read, “SLAM Doesn’t Speak for Us”, meant, none of them could tell us what SLAM stood for.

No student should be threatened like that on their own campus — especially not by people getting paid by a leader of the NYU community like Daniel Straus.

These actions underscore just how far Straus is willing to go in his campaign to slash the benefits of nursing home workers in Connecticut, and to prevent workers elsewhere from joining a union. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Straus’s company’s actions in Connecticut are illegal, and they have taken his company to court in pursuit of an injunction to bring the workers back and restore the health care benefits, pensions, and sick days that were taken away from them.

Yet none of this seems to have deterred Straus and his company.

We in the Student Labor Action Movement will not be intimidated by the presence of hired thugs on our campus. We will continue to seek justice for the striking nursing home workers of SEIU 1199 and to expose the hypocrisy of Daniel Straus, who funds an Institute for Law and Justice even as he breaks the law and commits injustices against workers.


1. Share this message and the video of Straus’s thugs intimidating NYU students standing for workers’ rights FAR and WIDE!

2. Send an e-mail to NYU President Sexton – john.sexton[at]nyu.edu — and Dean Revesz of NYU Law School — richard.revesz[at]nyu.edu — demanding that they publicly condemn Straus for sending these thugs to campus to
intimidate students.

3. Even better, call them: Sexton’s number is not listed, but Revesz is at (212) 998-6000.

4. Sign a petition demanding that Daniel Straus be removed from the NYU Law School Board of Trustees for his violations of workers’ rights and his company’s intimidation tactics at NYU.

5. Come to a Student Labor Action Movement planning meeting to plan a response: Thursday, 8pm, NYU Sociology Department Conference Room (295 Lafayette St., 4th floor, near the corner of Houston & Lafayette)

6. Come to our press conference/rally next week to condemn Straus’s intimidation tactics and demand that he stop breaking the law and provide justice for nursing home workers. Time/date TBA.

7. Questions? Want to get more involved? E-mail nyuSLAM[at]gmail.com. And like us on Facebook.

More info on the nursing home workers’ struggle for justice from Daniel Straus:
NYU Law Trustee Funds Justice Institute, Locks Out Workers (The Nation)
NLRB Orders Reinstatement and Back Pay for Healthbridge Strikers (SEIU 1199)
Know Your Trustees: Daniel E. Straus (NYU Local)
Strike Against Healthbridge Nursing Homes in Connecticut Continues (New York Times)
NLRB Seeks Injunction Against Healthbridge to Block Illegal Cuts (SEIU 1199)

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