By Doug Cunningham
[Dr. Ralph Engelman]: "This is not the struggle of just one faculty union, but it really is a very important moment for labor in New York City. And this attempt - this unprecedented attempt - to break our union with a lockout needs to be resisted. And we appreciate the support we're getting. We're very strong and we hope to prevail."
Dr. Ralph Engelman with the Long Island University Faculty Federation (LIUFF).
Engelman says a major labor demonstration is happening Wednesday on the first day of classes at the Brooklyn campus.
Faculty has been locked out with no pay, no health insurance and no access to their offices or email.
[Dr. Ralph Engelman]: "Rather than continue negotiating with us, we were locked out by the administration. We didn't even have a chance to bring the membership together to vote the management offer up or down. So we are locked out. We're not getting paid. Our health insurance has been cancelled. Our email is blocked. That's where we stand right now. This is the first lockout of university faculty - higher education - in American history. It's an outrageous assault on not just our union, but organized labor."
Engelman says Long Island University is trying to intimidate faculty with the lockout as it attacks compensation for adjunct professors.
Tutorial and office staff - some represented by OPEIU Local 153, are in strong support of the faculty.
[Dr. Ralph Engelman]: "Tutorial staff, secretaries and staff - Local 153 OPEIU. And we're all together to fight against this outrageous step."
Labor in New York City is rallying in support of the locked out faculty.
[Dr. Ralph Engelman]: "New York City is still a labor town and we expect a real show of force Wednesday when classes begin. Randi Weingarten, President of the AFT - a million strong - will be holding a press conference in front of the school on Friday. And they're bringing all their resources to bear on our behalf."
[Tom Morello "Union Town" song clip]: "This is a union town, a union town all down the line! And if they come to take our rights away we'll give 'em hell every time!"