October 31, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Cambridge, MA – The three-week strike by dining-hall workers at Harvard University ended Oct. 27, the morning after they voted 583-1 to ratify a five-year contract.
The agreement, according to UNITE HERE Local 26, will give the about 750 workers their main demands: a minimum salary of about $35,000 a year for full-time workers and no increase in their health-care costs. “We achieved every goal, without exception, with no concessions to Harvard,” said Local 26 President Brian Lang. He added that the $35,000 minimum would set “the new standard for food-service workers” at Boston-area schools and would “bring them out of poverty.” A Harvard spokesperson said the dining-hall workers would now get a health-care plan consistent with other union workers on campus. Workers laid off during the summer will get $2,400 seasonal pay and $3,000 by 2020, Lang said, while those whose hours are reduced during the summer will have their pay prorated to reach the $35,000 minimum. Read more