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Huge victory in Harvard dining hall workers strike

“We accomplished everything”
By staff |
October 26, 2016
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 Striking Harvard workers win
Striking Harvard workers win (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Cambridge, MA - Harvard University dining hall workers will end their strike tomorrow morning, Oct. 27, and return to work after reaching an agreement with the university that meets all of their demands. Harvard dining hall workers are reviewing and voting to ratify the contract agreement through 5 p.m. today, when this decision will become official.

Harvard dining hall workers went on strike Oct. 5 to win affordable health care and sustainable annual incomes. While the world watched, the lowest-paid workers on campus stood up to the richest university in the world. Through a strike of 22 days, this group of food service workers led a national conversation that ultimately forced one of the most powerful educational institutions to concede.

Students, faculty and alumni supported the strike.

A statement from UNITE HERE Local 26 gave the highlights of the strikes accomplishments, stating it is, “A five-year agreement that meets all our goals:

No health care costs will be shifted onto our members. Our health care plan will not change for two years. In 2019 Harvard will institute co-pay increases but will pay them for our members. Additionally, our premiums will go down.

We achieved a sustainable annual income of $35,000. In recognition of workers’ needs for sustainable income, Harvard is offering additional compensation in three installments during the summer. It will begin at $2400 in 2017 and rise to $3000 in 2020.

Retroactive wage increases on par with other unionized workers on campus of more than 2.5% a year.

Diversity and Equality Committee to address concerns regarding diversity and equal treatment of Harvard dining hall employees.

Benefits for Strikers: Harvard will cover the costs of all deductions for strikers for the duration of the strike; including medical insurance, parking, car and home insurance, and T pass deductions.”