Dining Hall Workers at Northeastern University Announce Strike Vote, Prepare for Potential Strike

For Immediate Release  September 20, 2017                                                                   

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck, 313-515-1807,  tteneyck@local26.org

More than 300 have already workers pledged to vote to strike

BOSTON, MA—Inspired by last October’s strike at Harvard University, food service workers at Northeastern University announced tonight they have called for a strike vote on October 4. At the event, they unveiled a photo display of the more than 300 workers that have already pledged to vote “yes” to strike if necessary.

Workers, who are members of UNITE HERE Local 26, have been in negotiations since April in hopes of reaching an agreement on a new contract. Negotiations will continue throughout the month.

“Northeastern is ignoring the crisis of poverty that many of us face,” said food service worker Angela Bello. “Too many of us who work full time at Northeastern University are not paid enough to live with dignity. ”

Northeastern dining hall workers are making the same demands that led to a 22-day strike at Harvard University: the ability to earn at least $35,000 a year for full-time work and affordable health care. The average dining worker at Northeastern made less than $22,000 last year. Many qualify for and rely on public assistance such as low-income housing, “food stamps,” and Mass Health.

“With what Northeastern pays me, I can’t afford to pay for the academic programs my 11-year old daughter needs, or for her to have her own bedroom apart from her two younger siblings,” said food service worker Shante McCorvey. “We live in low-income housing and every day is a struggle.”

“It’s unconscionable that dining service workers at such a prestigious Boston institution as Northeastern University must rely on welfare to get by,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “Our members are insisting upon the sum of $35,000 a year for full time work and affordable healthcare. We hope that Northeastern will find its way to support this modest proposal without a strike.”

“We interact with dining hall workers every single day, and we know how hard they work,” said Jessica Dampier, a third year Psychology major. “It’s important to me that we use our power as students to support all members of the Northeastern community. This is our university, and we demand that it treats every worker with respect and dignity.”

Ed Note:

Campaign video available here: https://www.facebook.com/uniteherelocal26/videos/1231538220285830

Photos and raw video from tonight’s event available upon request.

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

 

Check back here for more information as this story develops!IMG_1379

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, tteneyck@local26.org, 313-515-1807