According to The New York Times, Harvard’s cafeteria employees are in the midst of a strike, with today as its ninth day in action. Refusing to accept the university’s wages and benefits, the workers’ union Unite Here Local 26 organized a protest during which supporters have chanted, “If we don’t get it, shut it down,” in Harvard Square.
The university’s cafeteria employees receive an average of $21.89 an hour and 42 days of paid time off. Tania deLuzuriaga, a Harvard representative, claims that this wage “is the highest among cafeteria workers and university service workers in Boston.”
However, Local 26 seeks to increase yearly incomes from $30,000 to $35,000, increase weekly summer stipends from $250 to $450, and reduce “extra costs” in health care plans.
Although students sensed the looming strike and collected food in preparation, it is still a major frustration and inconvenience. Sofia Garcia, a freshman, told The Washington Post, “I’m worrying about midterms right now. I don’t need to worry about where my food is coming from.”
With the help of celebrities like Ben Stiller, the protest’s unforeseeable end may be further in the future than Harvard hopes.
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