Rosalindaa Cummings and Jake Burke
During our campus-wide action on March 1st, protesting the terms of the upcoming Bridge vendor transition, the Student/Worker Solidarity Network made two clear statements to the administration: students must be involved in all decisions about our food system and workers’ rights and hard work must be respected. We illuminated strong student support for these workers, who are members of our community.
How did the administration respond? Despite the fact that we made it very clear that we were in support of the planned vendor transition, they made an executive decision to cancel it without talking to any students!
Once again, the administration excluded students from a key decision about our food system. Furthermore, they simply delayed the moment when the workers’ jobs would be at risk. The administration has still failed to make any guarantees about keeping workers, their pay rates, or their union contract during future vendor transitions. This neglect puts Black, immigrant, and other workers of color at elevated risk. Through conversations with union members we have learned that without a union, workers of color in the Bridge and Dining Commons are given fewer promotions, are disciplined more, and are often stuck with night shifts. Without student empowerment, the administration will be able to continue to force these workers to live in fear of losing jobs, which are their livelihood.