Harvard, Don't Reinvest in HEI!

SLAM is requesting that Harvard not reinvest in HEI Hotels and Resorts.

Workers at HEI Hotels have been organizing around issues of low wages, poor benefits, workplace injuries, missing compensation and lacking breaks. HEI has also been accused of anti-union activities. We have prepared a report detailing the unethical nature of HEI’s business plan and explaining a history of intimidation of union activists, low wages, and poor benefits in HEI-managed hotels.

As students at Harvard, we are expected to behave in a socially responsible manner. We may only hope that this university uses its own immense economic and political power to advance causes beneficial for the university’s reputation of social responsibility and justice in society.

Many students also support non-reinvestment in HEI. The February 8, 2011 Crimson Staff editorial declared, “This should go without saying, but Harvard should advocate for workers' rights in the companies it invests in. Unions play a valuable role in maintaining fair working standards for employees, and the allegations that HEI is hindering their presence within its hotels should call Harvard’s relations with the company into question.” As of now, 17 student groups have cosigned our letter to the administration.

In February, the Brown University President and Corporation decided that Brown University would no longer invest in HEI, citing “a persistent pattern of allegations involving the company’s treatment of workers and interference with their efforts to unionize” inconsistent with Brown’s standards of socially responsible investment. The University of Pennsylvania has also announced that it has no plans to reinvest in HEI. We believe that Harvard should hold its investments to the same ethical standards as other Ivy League universities and ask that the Harvard Management Company declare non-reinvestment in HEI this season.

Press coverage:
http://www.heiworkersrising.org/?tag=harvard
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/2/8/hei-company-labor-harvard/
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/3/28/hei-investment-harvard-unive...
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/2/18/university-investment-hei-st...
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/4/19/faust-korn-workers-hei/

List of student groups endorsing:

Student Labor Action Movement
Harvard College Democrats
Harvard College Queer Students and Allies Political Committee
Harvard College Social Responsibility Trust
Radcliffe Union of Students
Perspective Magazine
Harvard Kennedy School Progressive Caucus
Harvard Kennedy School Human Rights Professional Interest Council
Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance
Harvard Students for Choice
Harvard College Environmental Action Committee
Harvard Students for a Just and Stable Future
John Reed Society
International Women’s Rights Collective
Harvard Global Health and AIDS Coalition
Harvard Students Taking On Poverty
Unbound (Harvard Journal of the Legal Left)

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