Support the Strike rally Saturday October 22

14520352_938570762915912_6786599321512145330_nSave the date! Major mobilization for Harvard dining hall workers on strike!

Saturday October 22, 3pm

Cambridge Common

Click here to download the flyer Harvard-strike-oct22

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

Breaking: Harvard dining hall workers announce strike October 5

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2016

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck,, 313-515-1807

Harvard dining hall workers will strike next Wednesday

Workers will staff picket lines instead of breakfast

Cambridge, MA—Harvard dining hall workers will launch an open-ended strike the morning of Wednesday, October 5 if a fair agreement is not reached university administrators by Tuesday, October 4 at 11:59pm. Instead of serving breakfast, workers will walk picket lines at more than a dozen locations across Harvard’s undergraduate and graduate campuses.

Harvard dining hall bargaining committee members sat down for the 1xth session of negotiations Friday, two of which have been attended by a federal mediator. Harvard administration continues to insist workers pay more for basic medical services.

“Workers are demanding two simple things from the university administration: the ability to earn at least $35,000 a year and a health insurance program that does not shift costs onto those who can least afford it,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 Lead Negotiator Michael Kramer. “These are reasonable expectations anywhere, but especially at the richest university in the world.”

Harvard dining hall workers voted in a landslide 591 to 18 vote to authorize a strike on September 15.

“The decision to strike was not easy, especially because we love our Harvard students and want them to eat healthy food that we cook,” said bargaining committee member Anabela Pappas. “Our students are as frustrated as we are that Harvard University told us it can’t afford to maintain our health care or pay sustainable incomes.”

“I want to shed light on the hypocrisy at Harvard,” said Gene VanBuren, a cook at Harvard Law School. “We take care of students that pay a lot of money to Harvard to be taken care of but Harvard isn’t taking care of us.”

“I want my kids to be able to have a bright future, and maybe one day they’ll go to Harvard,” said Jackie Medeiros, a dining hall worker with 24 years of service. “But right now, I’m too worried about how I’m going to pay the bills and pay for their doctor’s visits.”



BREAKING: Harvard dining hall workers overwhelmingly authorize strike

Harvard dining hall workers authorize strike

97% vote to strike, to take place in 2 weeks if no resolution

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Harvard dining hall workers voted 591 “yes” to 18 “no” with 609 ballots cast yesterday to authorize a strike. Their contract covers 750 workers across Harvard University campuses and will expire at midnight tonight.

Workers’ have two core demands: a $35,000 sustainable yearly income and affordable health care.

The average Harvard dining services worker made less than $35,000 last year. While many employees want to work a full 52-week year, the average Harvard dining services worker only received 38 weeks of work.

The Harvard administration insists workers pay more for medical services including seeing a doctor for preventative care.

“We are the first people to greet Harvard students in the morning and make sure they are fed and healthy,” said 35-year Harvard dining services employee Anabela Pappas. “But if Harvard makes these changes, many of us will have to neglect a visit to the doctor.”

Students are showing overwhelming support. The editorial board of The Harvard Crimson published an editorial supporting the strike. Harvard Medical School students, clad in white coats, held a rally at the Longwood Medical campus Monday. Undergraduates launched a support petition that has garnered 2,460 signatures.

“I support our HUDS workers because they go above and beyond for me,” said Itzel Vasquez-Rodriguez, a Senior with a dietary preference who lives in Kirkland. “They make sure I’m healthy and I want to do the same for them.”

Dining hall workers will meet with the Harvard administration on Friday for the 15th session of bargaining, which began May 20. An additional session with a federal mediator is scheduled for September 27.

“Workers employed by the wealthiest university on the planet should not have to strike, but they will if they must,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 lead negotiator Michael Kramer. “We’re prepared to give the University 2 weeks to come to a suitable resolution.”

For Immediate Release: September 16, 2016

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck,, 313-515-1807