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News ::
Boston SLAP Press Release on Janitors (english)
24 Oct 2002
Modified: 28 Oct 2002
BOSTON. October 24 ? Students from across the city of Boston, and members of Boston Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) join janitors in a victory rally at Northeastern on Thursday, October 24, at 3:30PM, on Huntington Avenue across from the Northeastern Green Line T stop.
This is a press release from the Boston Student Labor Action Project. Any formatting errors are the fault of the poster (Dan Keshet) and not Boston SLAP, as I reformatted it from a Microsoft Word Document to a PDF and plain text, which follows:
Boston Student Labor Action Project bostonslap (at)

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release: 10- 24-02

Contacts: Michael Amato, Northeastern student and SLAP organizer: 617-538-7270

Mandie Yanasak, Emerson College student, SLAP and USAS organizer: 617-688-5393

Students/Janitors Celebrate the Power of Solidarity

Victory Rally at Northeastern Looks Ahead to Future Campaigns

BOSTON. October 24 ? Students from across the city of Boston, and members of Boston Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) join janitors in a victory rally at Northeastern on Thursday, October 24, at 3:30PM, on Huntington Avenue across from the Northeastern Green Line T stop. Boston students spent Wednesday evening calling off buses of students from out of town and instead organized locals to participate in Thursday's newly declared day of celebration. SLAP will also send contingents to the Thursday noon solidarity rally and 6PM celebration in Old West Church. "We are proud to stand with the janitors on this day of victory, to spread the message to our fellow students and to our administrations: solidarity works!" said Northeastern Student Jonathan Rissmeyer.

"It's been really exciting to watch students from across the city and the country mobilize in support of the janitors," said Emerson student Mandie Yanasak. "Students in Boston are now more excited than ever to organize in support of campus workers and around other issues. They can see that our support makes a difference."

United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and SLAP students in cities across the country celebrated the victory as well, after planning solidarity actions in cities as far away as Madison, WI. USAS cancelled Boston-bound buses from New York and Washington, DC and Chicago SLAP called off a sit-in at the National headquarters of Equity.

During the strike, over 200 students at Northeastern Law School walked out of classes in solidarity with the janitors. Students also organized a civil disobedience action in support of the janitors, in which nine individuals, including an Emerson professor, were arrested in the Boston-Properties-owned Prudential Mall.

Now that the strike has ended, students pledge their support for campus workers will not wane. "We'll continue to stand with the janitors as they build and strengthen their union," said Boston University student, Val Costa. "The janitors' campaign has brought energy and excitement to activist groups on campuses across the city. This is only the beginning."

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Picture from last night's rally (english)
24 Oct 2002
Photo by Lara Jirmanus.
victory? (english)
24 Oct 2002
Do people really think this is a victory. I have been involved since the begining and I must say that I find the settlement very dissapointing. Only 1000 janitors will recieve healthcare out of the 10,000 emplyeees on the contract. That's not very much, it's less than the number of janitors who actually went on strike. And there raise won't kick in for another 2 years. Maybe I'm just being an awful cynic but where is the victory here? can someone please tell me
Just Another Distraction (english)
24 Oct 2002
This is not a victory.

This is just another distraction concocted by guilty white "liberals" who refuse to discuss essential issues such as

1) Who counts our votes (private transnational corporations):


2) Who issues so-called "U.S. dollars" (private transnational corporations):
See also:
the victory (english)
28 Oct 2002
I think the janitors got most of what they were asking for actually--they just weren't asking for that much (although they should see an increase in their standard of living nonetheless). I think you need to look at the context of all this. Before the local union was re-organized by SEIU's national body, it was apparently pretty pathetic. It was oriented towards business unionism (trying to play junior partner to the establishment, instead of setting themselves in opposition to it) and apparently wasn't even very good at business unionism. The janitors got little from belonging to the union. As a result, much of Boston's Latino immigrant population were alienated from unionism altogether. As a result of this strike, people can see that the re-organized union can do some good. It probably gave the janitors a sense of empowerment, which--looking at things over the long term--can be as important as the specific material gains they made. I'm defending the SEIU as perfect, but it's still a damn sight better than some other unions out there.