14 November 2011, Cambridge, MA—At a general assembly last night, Occupy Harvard released a statement in solidarity with Harvard’s unionized janitorial workers and demanding a “settlement of a fair union contract for Harvard’s custodial workers, according to the demands they have put forth.”
The statement can be found online at occupyharvard.net.
Harvard’s unionized custodial workers have been in contract negotiations for weeks, and their contract expires midnight Tuesday night. The custodians have voted for a strike if the university refuses to settle a fair contract.
Iman James, a senior at Harvard College, says that she and the rest of Occupy Harvard will support the custodians in whatever action they take. “If they go on strike, we will be with them all the way,” she says. “But I really hope that doesn’t happen. It would be really embarrassing for the university.”
Harvard employee and Occupier Keith Rosenthal notes, “we stand in solidarity with fights for economic justice across the globe, but one such fight is happening right here on campus. It’s ridiculous that a university with $32 billion apparently can’t afford a fair contract for its custodians.” Occupy Harvard will be participating in two actions with Harvard’s custodians later this afternoon.
Occupy Harvard also stands in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, in shock and horror at images of police brutality and violence from Zuccotti Park last night.