Press Release 5/3

For immediate release, Thursday, May 3, 2001

Today at 9:30 AM approximately sixty janitorial workers of Harvard Medical School will gather at the Medical School Quad for a rally and speak-out. The janitors, members of SEIU local 254, will convene to assert their support for a living wage for all workers at Harvard and to voice their opposition to the outsourcing of Medical School janitorial workers.

The event at the Medical School comes after another worker-driven rally Wednesday night outside of Massachusetts Hall. Dining workers and members of HERE local 26 marched and chanted after a meeting where they voted to authorize a strike.

Students emphasized that the living wage demand is an issue about workers, poverty wages, integrity, and the Harvard Community. Worker initiatives like the rally today at Harvard Medical School affirm clearly and forcefully that the worker, student, faculty and community coalition continues to strengthen. The coalition remains galvanized in its insistence that the Harvard Corporation negotiate and live up to its moral commitment.

In addition to the demand for a $10.25 an hour living wage, exclusive of benefits, the Living Wage Campaign is calling on Harvard to join the Workers Rights Consortium to ensure living wages for workers who make Harvard merchandise, and to implement a code of conduct on the subcontracting issue. Finally, the Living Wage Campaign insists on the institution of a representative committee to oversee the implementation of changes at Harvard.

Alumni actions in support of a living wage will take place this evening and Friday in New York City. Protesters hope these events will help to spread the message of fairness to larger audience.

Where: Harvard Medical School Quad (Longwood Ave. at Avenue Louis Pasteur)
What: Harvard Medical School janitors rally and speak out
When: May 3, 2001 9:30 AM
Contact: Emilou Maclean 617-596-8146, Matthew Feigin 617-491-7216