October 10, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Cambridge, MA – Harvard University’s dining service workers went on strike Oct. 5, demanding a minimum salary of $35,000 a year, year-round work, and no cuts in their health benefits.
“At this, the richest university in the world, no worker that is here and that is ready to work should be making less than $35,000 a year,” UNITE HERE Local 26 negotiator Michael Kramer said at a rally on campus attended by about 600 of the 750 food-service workers. A university spokesperson accused the union of being “more interested in planning a strike than working on a solution that meets the needs of their members and the wider community.” One worker charged that Harvard had forced them to strike by being unyielding over months of negotiations. “All the money they have, and they still want to squeeze every bit out of us,” Anabela A. Pappas said. The university has stockpiled frozen food and will have managers run dining halls. Read more