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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Boston Globe: Uneasy Calm After (the Larry) Storm

The Globe has an interesting little summary of campus news from Harvard that covers Larry's desire to fire Dean Kirby, our desire to eat at Felipe's until 4 AM, and the worker's desire for a living wage. From the paragraph on labor:
Harvard, where students staged a sit-in for a living wage in 2001, may once again become the target for high-profile labor activism if its current contract with janitors expires on Tuesday without an agreement. Peter Rider, SEIU Local 615's chief negotiator, said members were insulted by an offer from Harvard last week to boost pay by 50 cents an hour each year for five years. The union is planning a rally outside a Larry Summers's alumni event tomorrow, and may hold a strike authorization vote Thursday (which wouldn't mean they'd necessarily strike soon, but that the members would give their union that option.) The union says Harvard pays its janitors about 20 percent less than do Boston University, MIT, and Boston College, and employs far fewer full-time janitors.
I think it's easy to think about labor at Harvard in the context of SLAM and student activism, but we should forget that SLAM is essentially a supplement to the primary advocates and organizers: the unions and the workers. While many may consider direct actions by SLAM somehow less worthy because they have a disdain for student activism, if the workers themselves went on strike, the dynamic might drastically and quickly change.

2 Comments:

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey - where did the post go about the UC election stuff? i wanted to read the new comments but it seemed like it was taken down? what gives?

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

because people are able here to make anonymous comments, the possibility for people using the comments section to campaign and smear other candidates (fairly on unfairly) is problematic, and something that the Cambridge Common staff has to discuss before we allow continued discussion.

Cambridge Common is intended to be a place for serious dialogue that is enlightening and helpful for people, that teaches us all something about the world and ourselves. I would like to do my best to not have it simply be a place for spreading anonymous gossip, attacks or compliments.

Hopefully this concern makes sense to people. We have no yet arrived at a set policy, but until we do I will be deleting any comments about the campaigns...

 

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