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.