University of Maine students celebrate as they move their tassels and get their diplomas during graduation, May 7, 2022. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

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In response to the guest column in the BDN, “We’re unionizing for a more equitable University of Maine System”: I’m inspired by the graduate workers across the University of Maine System and their call for unionization. It’s personally meaningful to see these underpaid workers stand together and be another positive example of Maine’s surging pro-union labor movement.

In recent years, workers at the Portland Museum of Art, the Starbucks in Biddeford, Little Dog Coffee Shop in Brunswick, as well as the nurses at Maine Medical Center and newsroom members at the Bangor Daily News made the smart, empowering choice to unionize. I’m so proud of these workers for speaking up about the value of their labor, and taking a stand for the respect they absolutely deserve.

It’s my sincere request that the University of Maine System voluntarily recognize their graduate worker’s union.

Aaron Bergeron