Harvard Law Dining Workers Join UNITE HERE

Harvard Local 26 chief steward Ed Childs and Harvard Law leader Alice Brown

On December 2, Restaurant Associates / Compass workers at Harvard Law School became the newest members of UNITE HERE Local 26.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said RA Union committee leader Willie Moore. “And now, if you take one of us on, you take all of us on.”

The Law School workers organized throughout the summer with the help of Harvard Food Service shop stewards and several volunteer Harvard student organizers.

The victory rode the wave of excitement from the successful contract campaign by the 550 workers at Harvard University who were already part of the union, who recently won a landmark new agreement with Harvard. The new contract brought about more than just wages and benefits, but also an ongoing Joint Best Practices Committee – modeled after the efforts of Local 34 and 35 at Yale – charged with finding solutions to sustainable foods, sustainable jobs and year-round employment.

Harvard Law School workers had started attending Harvard food service shop steward meetings even before their union recognition. With this victory, the last non-union group of service workers at Harvard University has joined with their sisters and brothers. Says Harvard Local 26 chief shop steward Ed Childs, “This is just the beginning. Now we’re going to be helping campus food service workers all around Boston to become part of the Union.”