Friday, May 11, 2007

Hunger strike ends

Don't consider this post exhaustive, because I don't think I can do it justice, but the hunger strikers broke their fast today.

At the 1 PM rally today, we heard from a couple of members of the guards' bargaining committee who thanked the hunger strikers for everything they'd done and asked them to keep their health in mind. Then Michael read parts of a public statement issued today after the strikers' meeting with Marilyn Hausammann, the University's vice president for human resources. It affirmed Harvard's commitment to a living wage (in sort of ambiguous terms - I believe the phrasing was that the wage should ensure a "minimally decent" standard of living) and stated that Harvard does not intend to use outsourcing as a means for busting unions or lowering wages. The University will publicize the results of its audit of AlliedBarton's compliance with the parity policy sometime next week, probably Monday, and meet with SLAM representatives and other community members shortly after.

As Kaveri, Michael, and a number of others said today, this is certainly a victory but the fight isn't over - Harvard can issue reassuring blanket statements without making any actual commitment to a living wage for security guards. So we have to keep up the pressure, and the union has to keep up the pressure. The fight is not over, and we still need your help.

But it was definitely good to see them eat again.

The Crimson's coverage is here.