Belabored Podcast #114: Striking the Ivory Tower, with Harvard Workers

The fourth day of the strike at Harvard University (UNITE HERE Local 26)

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The lowest-paid workers at the country’s most elite university are rising up, and in the first big campus strike in over thirty years, the Harvard community is rallying around the dining services staff as they ditch the lunch line for the picket line. The workers demand year-round work, a guaranteed minimum annual wage of $35,000, and protection of their medical benefits from huge proposed cutbacks.  We speak with strikers Kecia Pugh and Anabela Pappas and UNITE HERE organizer Tiffany Ten Eyck as they square off with the administration in a labor battle that has come to symbolize the staggering inequality across the higher education system.

In other news we look at sexual harassment at McDonald’s, farmworkers leading a nationwide boycott of Wendy’s, a last-minute settlement of the Chicago Teachers’ Union labor dispute, and a strike for abortion rights in Poland. With recommended reading on neoliberalism busting our brains, and charter schools busting unions.

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News

How the women of Poland pulled off their massive nationwide protest (Sydney Morning Herald)

Poland abortion laws: Ruling party to revive ban despite mass strike by women and defeat in parliament (Independent)

Gender Trouble in Poland (Dissent)

Poland’s Pro-Death Bill (Dissent)

Michelle: McDonald’s Workers Have Filed 15 Complaints of Sexual Harassment in the Past Month (The Nation)

McDonald’s accused of ignoring rampant sexual harassment in its restaurants (ThinkProgress)

What “TIFs” Are and How They Averted the Chicago Teachers Union Strike (In These Times)

The Long Road to Victory (Jacobin)

Chicago Teachers Reach Tentative Deal to Avert Strike (In These Times)

Michelle: There’s a Nationwide Boycott of Wendy’s Underway

Boycott Wendy’s


Conversation

Kecia Pugh and Anabela Pappas, Harvard Dining Services and UNITE HERE Local 26, and Tiffany Ten Eyck, UNITE HERE organizer

Michelle: The First Campus Strike in Over 30 Years Is Happening at Harvard (The Nation)

No End in Sight for HUDS Strike (The Crimson)


Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Sarah: Hella Winston, How Charter Schools Bust Unions (Slate)

Michelle: George Monbiot, Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That’s what’s wrenching society apart (Guardian)

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