Tufts Dining Hall Workers Win First Union Contract

We won! Tufts dining workers have reached a tentative agreement for their first union contract! Strike averted.

Tufts Dining Hall Workers Win First Union Contract!

BREAKING: We won! Tufts dining workers have reached a tentative agreement for their first union contract! Strike averted

Posted by UNITE HERE Local 26 on Friday, 29 March 2019

Tufts University Dining Hall Workers Vote to Strike

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2018
Contact: Nicki Morris, 857-498-2495, nmorris@local26.org

Tufts University Dining Hall Workers Vote to Strike

137 to 17, dining workers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike

BOSTON, MA—After casting votes late into Thursday evening, UNITE HERE Local 26 Tufts University dining hall workers have overwhelmingly voted to authorized a strike. Now, a strike can be called by the Tufts bargaining committee at any time. After eight months of negotiations for their first union contract, Tufts University administrators potentially face the first strike at a Boston-area university since the 2016 Harvard Dining Hall Workers Strike.

“This is exactly the energy we need to win,” said Trish O’Brien, Tufts Dining worker for thirty years. “I saw my daughter go on strike at Harvard University and it made all the difference. We want everyone treated fairly and we want the same respect as other dining hall workers throughout Boston. We shouldn’t have to strike to win that, but we are prepared for anything.”

Tufts workers are also encouraged by the successful Marriott Strike of 2018, where workers at seven Marriott-operated hotels in Boston went on strike for 46 days winning landmark gains.

“I’m so proud to support the workers. We will back them through the strike, no matter how long it takes until they get a fair contract,” said Yashi Thakurani, Tufts University first-year student.

UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang said, “These are modest demands. We will see if Tufts has the moral integrity to rise to the occasion.”

Tufts Dining Hall Workers Announce Strike Authorization Vote

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2018

Tufts Dining Hall Workers Announce Strike Authorization Vote

 Overwhelming majority of workers pledge to VOTE YES to strike

 

MEDFORD, MA Surrounded by hundreds of UNITE HERE Local 26 dining hall workers, hotel workers, and Tufts students, Tufts University dining hall workers announced they will be holding a strike vote on March 14. After eight months of negotiations, an overwhelming majority of dining hall workers have pledged to VOTE YES to strike, taking the next step to win their first union contract.

 

In April 2018, Tufts University dining hall workers formed their union and joined UNITE HERE Local 26 with an overwhelming majority voting in favor in their National Labor Relations Board election. Workers are demanding equal treatment of all Tufts dining hall workers and equal terms with dining hall contracts throughout Boston. Tufts University has historically used a “temporary” worker classification that prevents nearly a third of dining hall workers from qualifying for the same wages and benefits as “full-time” classified workers, despite working full-time schedules and with comparable job duties. Many have remained in this “temp” position for years on end.

 

Last Thursday, Somerville City Council voted unanimously in support of a resolution backing Tufts dining hall workers and their demands to be treated equally with other Boston university food service workers. Over the past ten years, UNITE HERE Local 26 dining hall workers in Boston have transformed the industry from part-time, poverty jobs into sustainable careers that support families and communities. Since 2011, food service workers at schools like Northeastern University, Simmons College, and Lesley University, have joined Local 26 and won affordable healthcare, meaningful wage increases and scheduling protections.

 

“I currently pay over $800 a month for family healthcare. I take care of my 2-year-old son, my partner and myself,” said Lucson Aime, a cook at Tufts University for over seven years. “We can no longer afford daycare because after paying our healthcare costs, there is nothing to cover childcare. My coworkers and I should not be forced to choose between healthcare and daycare for our kids. We should be able to pay for both, and more, while working for one of the richest universities in Massachusetts.”

Tufts workers are encouraged by the successful Marriott Strike of 2018, where workers at seven Marriott-operated hotels in Boston went on strike for 46 days winning landmark gains.

 

In October 2016, Local 26 Harvard dining services workers went on strike for 22 days, the first strike on Harvard’s campus in over 30 years. The following year, Northeastern University dining hall workers won their contract after a strike was averted.

 

UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang said, “We call on Tufts Administration to recognize the urgency of this moment. We will not back down from the life-changing contract we seek at Tufts University.”

 

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents over 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org

 

UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.

Colleges of the Fens Win New Union Contract

Local 26 food service members are unstoppable! Dining services workers at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences unanimously ratified their new union contract today. With this victory, workers on these campuses join those at Simmons College and Northeastern University in winning a $35,000 minimum annual income, more affordable health insurance, and a pension. The list of colleges and universities where workers have won this standard keeps growing.

Tufts University dining hall workers win union vote, officially join UNITE HERE Local 26

Tufts Win

BOSTON, MA—About 150 dining hall workers have joined UNITE HERE Local 26 after an overwhelming vote in favor of unionization: 127 to 19. Following the NLRB vote, Tufts University dining hall workers are members of UNITE HERE Local 26 and can begin negotiating their first contract with the university.

“It’s an incredible feeling to finally have our union,” said Trish O’Brien, 29-year veteran of Tufts Dining Services. “We stood strong together. We are the unseen and the unheard, but now we are going to be seen and heard.”

“My time at Tufts has been filled with job insecurity,” said dining hall worker, Tsering Ngodup who has been classified as a temp for over five years. “But this journey to a union has shown me that the Tufts community is behind us.”

Earlier this April, 500 students joined workers as they formally announced their union, demanding recognition from Tufts University. Since then, 77 student groups have joined a coalition backing the food service worker’s union.

“We are overjoyed,” said Andrew Jeffries, Architecture and Environmental Studies Junior at Tufts University. “I feel very proud to be part of Tufts’ campus at this moment.”

“Students will continue to show our support in upcoming contract negotiations,” said Emma Ishida, Sophomore in American Studies and Cognitive and Brain Sciences. “Dining hall workers do so much for us. We won’t stop until they get the respect they deserve.”

Tufts workers join the union that successfully struck Harvard for 22 days in 2016, and narrowly averted a strike at Northeastern in 2017.

“With this vote, Tufts dining hall workers have once again demonstrated their strength and determination. They join with Local 26 members at Harvard and Northeastern who have set a new standard in the industry,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “Tufts dining hall workers deserve no less.”

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UNITE HERE Local 26 represents nearly 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

 

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2018