Like many university food service workers Harvard’s dining hall employees are on layoff four months a year. Bylaw university employees can’t collect unemployment. And even though wages have increased, between 2010 and 2009, the average worker saw pay decrease by almost $900 because Harvard cut 50,000 hours of work.
Workers and students are fighting back, and demanding that the University produce food onsite from whole ingredients instead of shipping in packaged and preserved foods. Food produced at the University will be better food and will create better jobs. Harvard Local 26 shop stewards and students recently traveled to Yale to meet with UNITE HERE Local 35 leaders and Yale students. Through years of struggle and strikes, the Yale workers have won Sustainable Food and Sustainable Jobs including:
- Guaranteed work 12 months out of the year at their regular wages
- No subcontracting of food preparation, and
- Real worker, student and administration collaboration to create the healthiest food produced in the most environmentally responsible way.
Harvard and Yale Union members and students will all be together again on Thursday, May 12, 8pm for a rally at 1st Parish Church in Cambridge (1 Church St. at Mass Ave). All Local 26 members are invited!