Student-Worker Solidarity | firstname.lastname@example.org | Spring 2013
Faculty House (UniteHere Local 100) Labor Dispute:
The 34 workers at Columbia University’s Faculty House, members of UNITE-HERE! Local 100, have been in contract negotiations with the university for nearly a year. On March 31, the extension on their previous contract will expire and they will lose their healthcare. Some of the workers at Faculty House are fighting serious illnesses; getting a fair contract now is literally a matter of life or death.
Columbia is taking advantage of Faculty House’s isolation from the rest of the Columbia community. Because the workers at Faculty House are small in number and secluded from students and other campus workers, Columbia is aggressively pushing them to accept drastic healthcare cuts, untenable working conditions, and wages below the cost of living.
This is only the latest in a history of attacks on Faculty House workers that extends back to the closure of the facility in April 2008, its reopening under a weak contract, and years of summer stipend reductions and stolen tips. Leading the charge is the university’s negotiator, Assistant Vice President of Labor Relations Sheila Garvey, who is outright disrespectful, condescending, and racist. She refuses to conduct transparent negotiations because her methods rely on avarice and intimidation instead of reason and compromise.
The students of Student-Worker Solidarity have allied with the workers at Faculty House to combat their isolation, help the workers reach out to the Columbia community at large, and demand respectful negotiations. We believe that Columbia should negotiate fairly with the workers at Faculty House instead of stoking their fear to impose a contract that will make it impossible to support themselves and their families.