Arguably the UAW has done more than any other organization nationwide to improve conditions for international students and scholars. For years UAW has fought hard to ensure that the contributions of guest workers are elevated and that the terms and conditions of their employment are improved. The UAW helped lead the fight to ensure that the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program was expanded after a lawsuit that threatened to reduce it. Recently the UAW helped lead the fight against the Executive Orders issued by President Trump which targeted international students and scholars.
The International Students Working Group of GWC-UAW Local 2110 has fought for years on Columbia’s campus to protect international student employees from wrongful termination, tax errors, unfair international student fees and the Trump administrations travel ban. The UAW’s commitment to international students and scholars stems from the leadership of international students and scholars themselves. Postdoc and graduate employee unions affiliated with UAW are often lead by international students and scholars, who serve in top leadership positions in local unions nationwide.