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.
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.
“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 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.
The City of Cambridge, Mass., has moved to create an ordinance that will effectively bar hotels from outsourcing in-house jobs, the first ban of its kind in the country.