It's official: after having occupied Wesleyan's admissions office from Tuesday April 4 at noon until Wednesday April 5 at 9:30pm (33 hours), Wesleyan students declared victory in our fight for workers' rights on campus. The Initial workers are extremely happy with the outcome.
We had been concerned that Initial, the contractor that employs our school's janitors, wouldn't agree to better wages and benefits unless Wesleyan agreed to pay for them. Last night, our president called Initial and told them he would foot the bill for the janitors' proposed contract. Within hours, the contract was signed. In addition, President Bennet signed a statement saying that ALL contracted campus workers would retain their jobs, wages and benefits if the university switched contractors. This means that Wesleyan can't simply drop Initial and hire a nonunion contractor. Bennet also agreed to pay for a similar contract for another group of janitors that cleans our gym, and we set up a committee to write a comprehensive labor code of conduct for the school by April 23. So far, we have faced no legal or disciplinary action.
This was an amazing victory, and we want to thank everyone who sent messages of solidarity, wrote to President Bennet, or visited our occupation. Your support means SO MUCH to us.
If anyone is planning a similar action, let us know - we'd love to help.
Thanks again to everyone.
HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!
United Student Labor Action Coalition
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Wesleyan University's NEW Labor Code of Conduct!
USLAC's 8 Points for a Responsible Code of Conduct
Frequently Asked Questions
Timeline of the Campaign
Statements of Support
Wesleyan Faculty Petition
The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA)
The American Studies and Latin American Studies departments
Asian Pacific American Alliance
Howard & Roslyn Zinn Petition President Bennet!
In the Hartford Courant - 5 April 00
In the Hartford Courant - 8 April 00
In the Hartford Advocate
In the Wesleyan Argus
New York Times Article about Wesleyan Admissions
Hermes Article about worker Norma Mercedes
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
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