Harvard is pushing the US government to weaken important protection for workers to keep its graduate students from unionizing. However, the university does not put it this way.
Law students that came to Harvard to study labor realized this alarming situation and its implications against the students. Like many admin and research assistants, graduates too want access to collective bargaining; they want better pays, independent grievance procedure for health and sexual harassment incidents and Harvard's current legal strategy threatens the access to this collective bargaining position for workers both inside and outside the university.
If the university is successful in convincing the government, then it could gut worker's rights. They will not have the right to vote for union representatives. They would not be able to file for an election, due to which unions will have no way to ensure all potential voters knew about the organization's campaign.
However, after the National Labor Relations Board in 1966 impeded the workers to a free choice in voting. The board decided that employers provide unions with an Excelsior list of all their employees to the union so they could ensure that everyone knew about the election. Even the omission of one employee could be seen as a prejudicial to workers that seek to unionize.
Harvard appealed to the N.L.R.B. to let employees off the hook for not being able to create a complete and accurate Excelsior list. If this is approved, then employers could easily get away with stifling communication among unions and employees.
Harvard has been manipulated into this direction to take the bait and has risked making the uphill battle of unionizing a steep task for all American workers.