Graduate students at New York University filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, asking for a union-representation election. The move, which ultimately seeks to gain collective-bargaining rights for about 1,800 teaching and research assistants, comes a week after student organizers gave university administrators a deadline for voluntarily recognizing their union, affiliated with the United Automobile Workers. The students hope the labor board, with new appointees by President Obama, will reverse a 2004 decision that “stripped student employees of their right to bargain under federal law,” the UAW said in a written statement.

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