This morning, Harvard dining service workers walked off the job and went on strike. This marks the first walk out at the University since 1983.
Today’s strike saw 700 workers rallying in Science Center Plaza and marching to Massachusetts Hall. From the Harvard Crimson:
Over the course of the months-long bargaining—which began mid-June—Harvard and union negotiators have faced a stalemate over wages and health benefits.
University spokesperson Tania deLuzuriaga wrote in an emailed statement that Harvard has “proposed creative solutions to issues presented by the union, and hoped union representatives would contribute to finding creative, workable solutions at the negotiation table.”
She added: “They have been unwilling to do so. We are disappointed that they have been more interested in planning a strike than working on a solution that meets the needs of their members and the wider community.”
Harvard and HUDS will continue bargaining during the strike, according to Lang. He said both Local 26 and the University have established a “framework” for making progress on the negotiations.
The HUDS workers were joined by at least two other labor groups in their picket and rally. Aryt Alasti, a security guard, said members of SEIU 32BJ—which represents Harvard’s guards and custodians—had been encouraged to picket in support of HUDS during their off hours. Graduate student Aaron T. Bekemeyer, carrying a Harvard Graduate Student Union-United Auto Workers banner, said members of the unionization effort were also supporting the HUDS workers.