Northeastern University Food Service Workers Vote to Unionize

Northeastern University Food Service Workers

Vote to Unionize

Chartwells workers overwhelmingly vote YES to join Boston’s Local 26

BOSTON- In the largest campus food service unionization in recent history, 400 Northeastern University dining hall workers overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining Boston’s Local 26.

Rallying with hundreds of students, Chartwells workers spoke about injustice they faced in the dining halls and kitchens last month. The workers conveyed the urgent need for a union as harassment and unfair treatment have created a hostile work environment. Last night’s vote was 299 to 44 in favor of joining Boston’s Local 26.

“I wanted this union to end the mistreatment and injustice we all face while working here,” said Angela Bello “It has been a long fight and we faced pressure from our bosses not to unionize but we came together and demanded fairness. All we want is to be treated with respect.”

Boston’s Local 26 represents 6,000 hospitality industry workers in the greater Boston area. Members include workers at hotels, restaurants, university food services, Boston Convention Centers, Fenway Park, Logan International Airport, and other companies throughout the city.

“Our city and community thrive when the people who live and work here are appreciated and valued,” said Brian Lang, President of Boston’s Local 26. “Along with the thousands of workers in our union, the Chartwells workers and Northeastern University share our commitment to create dignity and respect at the workplace with secure, well-paid jobs.”

The workers were organized with the help of a student group, Huskies Organizing With Labor (HOWL), a broad coalition of 24 campus groups.  The students recently demanded that the University and Chartwells let the workers choose whether to unionize in an environment free of pressure and intimidation.

“The outpouring of support from Northeastern students, faculty, and community members helped encourage the workers to move forward,” said Lang. “As we work together in the future with Northeastern and our new union members, we will eliminate the abuse and disrespect that these men and women were subject to.”


The Fallacy of Tuna Fish Economics

In Economics 10 lecture last Wednesday, Professor Andrei Shleifer ’82 waxed poetic about the macroeconomic implications of tuna fish sandwiches. According to Professor Shleifer, Harvard is analogous to the U.S. government, and Harvard University Dining Services, which runs the Science Center Greenhouse Cafe, is analogous to a government agency. Since tuna fish sandwiches at the Business School, where food services are contracted out, are cheaper and better than those at the Science Center, the dining hall workers’ union is directly responsible for rising tuition costs. Thus, both universities and government should privatize or contract out as many public services as possible.

SLAM Celebrates University Decision Not To Reinvest in HEI

The Student Labor Action Movement held a celebration Tuesday afternoon in response to Harvard’s recent decision not to reinvest in HEI Hotels & Resorts, a hotel chain that has come under fire for repeated allegations of failure to comply with labor regulations.

Community Voices: Do hard hats signify the return of Boston’s economy?

“One of the things that can tell you the economy has gotten better is to look up and see cranes in the sky.”

Tracy Parks, a member of the Boston Workers Alliance and Laborers’ Local 151, told me that recently. And, it is not just cranes in the sky, but also shovels in the ground. On a busy street, you no longer just see suits, you notice more hard hats and lunch boxes.   These are pictures of hope, the belief that soon new enterprises will fill buildings, people will be able to enjoy renewed stability, and the city will have a vibrant economy again.

Hotel Workers Picket Hilton Boston Over Right To Form Union

Hotel workers picketed outside the Hilton Boston Downtown in the Financial District yesterday, marching and chanting to protest what organizers say is an anti-union campaign being conducted by hotel management.

The employees recently notified management that they wanted to form a union. Since then, according to the head of the local hospitality workers union, managers have been meeting with workers to discourage them from organizing.