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Historically, academic strikes are not frequent and are short. Much of the research examines why academic strikes occur; however, few explore the individual multidimensional striker. The research question in this autoethnographic essay explored, “What factors led me, a pro-union advocate, to cross the picket line?” Crossing the picket meant going back to work before the strike was declared over. The self-reflexive narrative examines several themes, including the mental health burden of anxiety and stress, the place of coercive power used when the administration pursues extreme threats, the role that unions play in setting up expectations at the outset of a strike, and how a strike’s degree of inclusivity of regional campuses can affect the striker’s need to feel part of the larger strike.

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