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Announcement :: Labor
Harvard Hunger Strike for Workers Rights
04 May 2007
Cambridge, Mass--Yesterday, 11 students at Harvard University began an indefinite hunger strike in support of hundreds of newly unionized security guards at Harvard, in their fight to win a first contract with fair wages, steady full-time work, fair procedures, and the right to organize for all workers.

The strike coincides with yesterday's decision by AlliedBarton, a private security firm contracted by Harvard, to walk away from the bargaining table. The strike will last until Harvard takes responsibility for the conditions of workers on its campus and makes a public statement supporting the basic standards demanded by guards and students.
StandforSecurity11.JPG
SUPPORT THE HARVARD HUNGER STRIKE
Outsourced security officers at Harvard make $2-8 less than other service workers on campus, and $5-6 less than guards at comparable area universities. They have the lowest wages on campus, and until this year, they did not have a union. Harvard's response? "Not our problem."

Last semester, after being outsourced for years and losing union representation, officers joined with students to win the right to organize and, ultimately, elected a union! Now, AlliedBarton is even denying them that - misclassifying 32 guards as "managers" just to keep them out of the union. Harvard's response? Again: "Not our problem."

Students, workers, and community members are standing up for security. We believe security begins with justice. We believe that it IS Harvard's responsibility to ensure decent working conditions on our campus. So far, 23 student organizations and 1200 students, faculty, alumni and community members have said they agree with us. And there are more of us every day.

Security guards have gone without for too long - now students will go without until workers have what they need. Now is the time to STAND FOR SECURITY!

SUPPORT THE HARVARD HUNGER STRIKE

For more information about the campaign and the latest press coverage:
http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/u7zw44K1XPyR/

Here are three things you can do to help:

1. Sign the petition! http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/u7zw44K1XPyR/

2. Call in!

Harvard President Derek Bok, 617-495-1502
Call Director of Labor Relations Bill Murphy, 617-496-9193
Call AlliedBarton Security: 610-239-1100

Sample Script:
Hello. My name is ______ and I am a student at _______. I am writing to express my support for Harvard security officers as they bargain for a better contract. They are members of the Harvard community and they should be rewarded fairly for the hard work they do. Security officers deserve wages as high as any other service workers on campus, safe and sanitary working conditions, full-time employment, fair procedures, and the right to organize! I am appalled that a university that purports to hold so much wisdom could be so ignorant of the basic needs and rights of people. It's time to stop denying your responsibility and start standing for security!

3. Write in!

President Derek Bok
derek_bok (at) harvard.edu

Directory of Labor Relations William Murphy
bmurphy (at) camail.harvard.edu

AlliedBarton CEO William Whitmore
http://www.alliedbarton.com/contact-us-general.aspx?form=Clients

Sample Letter:

I am writing to express my support for Harvard security officers as they bargain for a better contract. They are members of this community, they are fathers and mothers, they are friends and neighbors, and they should expect to be rewarded fairly for the hard work they do. $12.68/hour is not nearly enough; paying basic bills should not be a daily struggle. Security officers deserve wages as high as any other service workers on campus, safe and sanitary working conditions, full-time employment, fair procedures, and the right to organize! Would you accept anything less for yourselves?

I am appalled that a university that purports to hold so much wisdom could be so ignorant of the basic needs and rights of people. I am appalled that a university that believes all students should be trained in "moral reasoning" could reason so
immorally. Stop denying your responsibility and start standing for security!
See also:
http://www.stand4security.org

This work is in the public domain.
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Comments

Go for it!!!!
04 May 2007
I am proud of you, but don't be quitters. If you are going on a hunger strike to increase the wages of janitors, go all the way. Don't be like other hunger strikers and give up after a couple of days, let's see some rib; that will get your point across.
Anyway, got to run. My steak dinner is getting cold.
pigz0rs
05 May 2007
ummmm ... they're security guards ... pigs. Their job is to hassle people and to protect bourgeois property rights at an imperialist institution. They are not productive workers. Why should revolutionary activists go on strike for them?
Cops out of the unions!
05 May 2007
COPS ARE NOT WORKERS! They are the armed fist of the bourgeoisie! Drive them out of the unions!
Please.
05 May 2007
Big difference between cops and security guards. Look it up. Guards are some of the lowest paid workers in Boston. Cops are well paid agents of the state.
Stand for Security?
07 May 2007
Modified: 12:25:12 PM
Click on image for a larger version

PcopsSRC1.jpg
While I am definitely happy to see Harvard students go hungry for once, I have some questions and reservations about this campaign.

First is the question of the social role of these security guards. Who and what are they securing and from who or what? Are they protecting Harvard students and property from outsiders? Are they preventing rich kids from getting much deserved muggings? Are they there to keep me from wandering into the confines of your ivy covered walls?

I also have a major problem with the call to "Stand for Security", especially when repeated by self-described anti-authoritarians. Calls for more security are cheap political ploys designed to appeal to fear, but this is to be expected from the future ruling class.

Also, private security guards can be just as repressive as the police, especially in regard to labor struggles. They can infiltrate, harrass and intimidate like any other pig.

If this union campaign is successful you can bet that they will be used against future struggles. They will cross your picket line to "Stand for Security", it's their job.
There there.
08 May 2007
Nick is just mad because his neck still hurts from the DNC.