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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Entering Third Week on Strike, Harvard dining hall workers bring fight to Boston

Entering Third Week on Strike, Harvard dining hall workers bring fight to Boston

Boston City Council will hear resolution in support, while workers ask for donations of diapers and formula and other material assistance

Boston, MA—Harvard’s striking dining hall workers will take their fight out of Cambridge and south of the river into Boston today. Strikers will attend the Boston City Council meeting where Council President Michelle Wu will offer a resolution to support the striking workers.

More than 700 Harvard dining hall workers have been on strike since Oct. 5 to win annual incomes of at least $35,000 a year and to stop Harvard administrators from shifting health care costs onto workers.

A study by the city of Boston on growing income inequality reported nearly half of Boston’s workers made less than $35,000 a year. Half of Harvard’s dining services workers, even though they work for the richest university in the world, earn less than $35,000 a year. Harvard University has a $35 billion endowment and had a $62 million operating surplus at end of the 2015 fiscal year. A $35,000 yearly income represents one-billionth of Harvard’s endowment.

“We expect Harvard to be doing better than the average,” said UNITE HERE President Brian Lang. “Harvard can’t hide behind hourly wages when workers’ annual income puts them at the bottom end of earnings.”

Harvard’s dining hall strike has received national attention in its first two weeks. After Harvard administrators were unwilling to budge last week, striking dining hall workers began reaching out to decision makers at Harvard University, including President Drew Faust and the Harvard Fellows. On Saturday Oct. 22, Harvard dining hall workers are planning a major mobilization rally and march for supporters at Cambridge Common at 3pm.

Harvard dining hall workers are asking supporters to donate to their strike assistance fund so they can support strikers who are under the most financial strain through buying necessary items like diapers, formula, and food.


For immediate Release: October 19, 2016



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