April 22, 2001

Harvard protesters say cause mirrors Quebec's

By MATT DAVIS, Boston Herald

Protesters at a small sit-in at Harvard Yard yesterday compared their vigil in support of college workers to the massive demonstrations of Quebec City.

Students have been staging the sit-in for four days in solidarity with Harvard employees that they say aren't earning a living wage.

"There are some strong affinities between both causes," Harvard student Benjamin McKean said through a window of Harvard's Mass Hall. Campus police kept reporters outside. "This represents a local manifestation of the global injustice and issues protested in Quebec," said student Susan Misra.

Protesters say Harvard's janitors and dining hall workers earn as little as $6.50 an hour. They are calling for increases in base pay to $ 10.25 an hour.

Harvard has pledged to offer education benefits to workers making less than $10.25 an hour and the university says it agrees with the students on principle.

"Where we disagree is the solution," spokesman Joe Wrinn said. "We believe it should be resolved in collective bargaining agreements with unions."