Custodians’ union to sue Columbia over failure to protect them from ‘privileged’, ‘bratty’ protesters

Image: Columbia University

The union representing custodians employed by Columbia University says it will sue over the university’s mishandling of pro-Palestinian protests. Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen told Fox News the New York school failed to protect its staff when protesters took over Hamilton Hall earlier this month.“Columbia should have never put the custodians or the security officer in that position and that is at the heart of the matter. Columbia showed an epic disregard and epically failed to protect the workforce, ” he said.

Cops arrested over 100 protesters after they took over Hamilton Hall. The protesters smashed windows and broke through doors to get in. They then barricaded themselves inside, reported the Columbia Spectator.


The union president said several protesters “tried to hold our workers in the building” during the occupation.

“The entire TWU workforce in the building was fearful and rightfully so. They stormed in … but two of the custodians had to fight their way out. They were explicitly told ‘You’re staying here, you’re not going anywhere, this cause is bigger than you.’”

The union president characterized the protesters as “smarmy, sort of entitled, spoiled, bratty occupiers” who tried to prevent blue-collar workers from going home to their families.


“It’s outrageous, it’s an affront to workers everywhere,” he declared, saying the university should expect a lawsuit from the union soon.

Union officials wrote to President Minouche Shafik seeking security footage and the names of the arrested protesters. They also sought a meeting with Shafik “regarding mitigation steps necessary to avoid future placement of members in harm’s way if the protests resume, and recompense to the TWU members who were subjected to this despicable conduct.”

“The TWU Security Officer, an African-American woman, managed to leave the building before the barricades went up,” they wrote. “But she remains shaken by her encounter with the occupying protesters (aka privileged kids) who verbally attacked her in a very aggressive and extremely offensive manner.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

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