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CUPE has just signed 40 new members part-time workers at the University of Toronto Bookstore building on recent successes in organizing younger and part-time workers.

The successful organizing drive is particularly important as universities across the country are contracting out bookstore and publishing services.

With tuition skyrocketing, students have to work as many as 40 hours while still being called part-time just to make ends meet, says Derek Blackadder, who coordinated the drive. And the poor pay and working conditions associated with those jobs cant be pinned on the university because theyve either hired a contractor or created a subsidiary.

Student employees are organizing because they know these jobs are crucial to their ability to graduate without an overwhelming debt load, adds Blackadder.