Grinnell College Students End Union Bid

Students at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa are asking the National Labor Relations Board to end their petition to expand a union of dining workers to the entire student workforce. The union would have been the country’s first campus-wide student union at a private college. The students filed their withdrawal on December 13 “in recognition of the national consequences of our fight.”

The appeal marks a setback for the student organizers but will deprive the pro-business NLRB a chance to undo the precedent allowing students to organize. A number of other schools – including Boston College, Reed College, and Yale – also withdrew NLRB petitions in the past year to prevent a rollback of student organizing rights. The students faced an appeal of the election by the college that would have allowed the Board to revisit the question of whether student aides are employees.

This isn’t the only area where unions are withdrawing cases to deny the NLRB the opportunity to rule in favor of businesses. Unions have proven that their playbook is to not represent their members until they there is a pro-union President who appoints a majority controlled pro-union NLRB. Union members, unfortunately, you’ll be waiting years for that to happen.

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at