By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for

Kean University already had a fight on its hands after local union officials complained about treatment of faculty members at a satellite campus in China.

And that was before the president of America’s largest teachers union got involved.

In a blistering criticism of the public university on Thursday, Randi Weingarten accused Kean of violating “American values” and stripping “American rights from American workers,” escalating what had been a labor and academic debate and reframing it as an unchecked college president operating in un-American way.

The fiery news conference in Trenton came after Kean told its faculty at Wenzhou-Kean University, including more than 50 U.S. citizens, that they will soon be considered employees of the satellite campus, will be paid in Chinese currency and will no longer be eligible for representation by the American Federation of Teachers, according to the union.

In doing so, Kean President Dawood Farahi jeopardized the safety of American workers who will have fewer labor protections in communist China, Weingarten said.

“Dr. Farahi does not respect American values, the values of justice, the values of free expression, the values of opportunity,” she said.


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