Important Update on the Harvard Strike

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Harvard University that our Bargaining Committee believes addresses all of the concerns of our more than 700 members on strike. Our strike will continue until all members on strike have a chance to review the agreement and vote to ratify. We will disclose details of the agreement after this vote on Wednesday.” – UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang


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During Head of the Charles, 1000s to join striking Harvard dining hall workers in largest rally yet


1000s to join striking Harvard dining workers in largest rally yet

During Head of the Charles, strikers tell Harvard: “settle now!”

Cambridge, MA—Now in their third week on strike, Harvard dining hall workers are demanding Harvard administrators row faster on reaching a deal to end the strike during Head of the Charles weekend.

With national and international media attention and the widespread support of Harvard students, faculty, and alumni; Harvard administrators failed this week to help workers reach a settlement.

“Harvard administrators are moving like a sweep without a coxswain,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “We’d like to see Harvard work on this a lot faster, but if not we’re prepared to keep striking for as long as it takes.”

Harvard dining hall workers have been on strike since Oct. 5 to earn $35,000 a year and to stop the $35bn institution from shifting health care costs onto workers. Union members from across the eastern seaboard are joining them, along with hundreds of area college students, to demand Harvard speed up its snails pace in meeting dining hall workers’ modest demands.

Marchers will take Massachusetts Ave to march to Cambridge City Hall as the Head of the Charles ends for the day. The march will be led by 9 female dining hall workers who were arrested last Friday, along with Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons and Vice Mayor Marc McGovern.

What: The 700 striking Harvard dining hall workers and more than 1000 allies

When: Saturday October 22,

Rally at 3pm at Cambridge Common, March at 4:30pm to Cambridge City Hall

Who: Harvard strikers will be joined by Harvard students, faculty, alumni; fellow UNITE HERE members from New York City, Providence, New Haven, Atlantic City, and Philadelphia; and students from Yale, Emerson, Northeastern, Tufts, Simmons, UMass Boston, UMass Lowell.

Speakers include: D Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE; Janice Loux, Executive Vice President of UNITE HERE; Sean O’Brien, President of Teamsters Local 25

Visuals: large protest march down Mass Ave, strikers with picket signs and “If we don’t get it shut it down” signs


For Immediate Release: October 22, 2016

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck,, 313-515-1807


Striking Harvard Workers Take their Fight to Harvard Fellows


Striking Harvard Workers Take their Fight to Harvard Fellows

Workers and alumni demand action from Harvard’s real decision makers as administrators fail to end strike after a week

Harvard dining hall workers who are on their 9th day of a strike for annual incomes of at least $35,000 a year and to stop the administration’s demand that they pay more for basic medical services are reaching out to Harvard’s real decision makers.

On Thursday, UNITE HERE local affiliates and Harvard alumni will protest outside the offices of Harvard Corporation fellows in New York City, DC, Chicago, Berkeley, Menlo Park, Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are demanding that the Harvard Corporation— comprised of 13 fellows and Harvard University President Drew Faust—intervene to help food service workers reach an agreement.

Harvard dining hall workers have been on strike since October 5th. Workers began negotiations with Harvard administrators May 20th and have held more than 20 sessions. The strike has gained national attention and the support of undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, Harvard employees and faculty. Workers, students and staff have picketed, marched and rallied all over Harvard University campus and Harvard Square for eight days but the administration has yet to resolve this issue.

“It is clear to us that all this time we’ve been bargaining with people who are not actually able to make decisions for Harvard University,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “We call on the decision makers of Harvard University to step forward to meet with us so we can come to a just agreement.”

The Harvard Corporation “exercises fiduciary responsibility with regard to the University’s academic, financial, physical resources and overall well-being.” The Corporation is made up of 13 fellows, the President and the Treasurer.

The corporation’s fellows include: Joseph O’Donnell, chairman of the board of Centerplate, Karen Gordon Mills, president of private equity group MMP Group, Laurence Bacow, former president of Tufts University, Shirley M. Tilghman, former president of Princeton University and director for Google Inc, Nannerl O. Keohane, former president of Duke University and Wellesley College, Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company, Susan L. Graham, James Breyer, William F. Lee, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Theodore V. Wells, Jr., and Paul Finnegan.


For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck,, 313-515-1807


Breaking: Harvard dining hall workers announce strike October 5

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2016

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck,, 313-515-1807

Harvard dining hall workers will strike next Wednesday

Workers will staff picket lines instead of breakfast

Cambridge, MA—Harvard dining hall workers will launch an open-ended strike the morning of Wednesday, October 5 if a fair agreement is not reached university administrators by Tuesday, October 4 at 11:59pm. Instead of serving breakfast, workers will walk picket lines at more than a dozen locations across Harvard’s undergraduate and graduate campuses.

Harvard dining hall bargaining committee members sat down for the 1xth session of negotiations Friday, two of which have been attended by a federal mediator. Harvard administration continues to insist workers pay more for basic medical services.

“Workers are demanding two simple things from the university administration: the ability to earn at least $35,000 a year and a health insurance program that does not shift costs onto those who can least afford it,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 Lead Negotiator Michael Kramer. “These are reasonable expectations anywhere, but especially at the richest university in the world.”

Harvard dining hall workers voted in a landslide 591 to 18 vote to authorize a strike on September 15.

“The decision to strike was not easy, especially because we love our Harvard students and want them to eat healthy food that we cook,” said bargaining committee member Anabela Pappas. “Our students are as frustrated as we are that Harvard University told us it can’t afford to maintain our health care or pay sustainable incomes.”

“I want to shed light on the hypocrisy at Harvard,” said Gene VanBuren, a cook at Harvard Law School. “We take care of students that pay a lot of money to Harvard to be taken care of but Harvard isn’t taking care of us.”

“I want my kids to be able to have a bright future, and maybe one day they’ll go to Harvard,” said Jackie Medeiros, a dining hall worker with 24 years of service. “But right now, I’m too worried about how I’m going to pay the bills and pay for their doctor’s visits.”