Item Details

Occupation: The Harvard Living Wage Sit-Ins

by Maple Razsa and Pacho Velez
Format
Video; Computer Resource; Online Video; Online
Summary
In the last decades, colleges around the country have faced student protests over the wages paid maintenance employees. Harvard, the richest university in the world, is no exception. While its endowments have tripled in the last fifteen years, it has outsourced jobs, slashed wages and benefits for its lowest paid workers, and resisted efforts to unionize. Appalled at Harvard's practices, the students galvanized into action. They proposed a Living Wage Programme, which Harvard refused to consider. After three years of peaceful protests the students occupied Massachusetts Hall, site of the President s office. Soon a "tent city" sprang up on campus as other students joined the campaign. Gradually the workers joined the protest, no longer afraid to lose their jobs. With the threat of wildcat strikes and civil disobedience growing, the administration was forced to negotiate. The President accepted unprecedented wage increases and established a committee to review labor policies. Consuelo, a janitor, says "Those kids are unbelievable. They are my inspiration, my heroes."
Release Date
2004
Run Time
43 min.
Language
English
Rating
For College; Adult audiences
Series
Filmakers Library Online
Published
New York, NY : Filmakers Library, 2004.
Access Restriction
Access restricted to subscribers.
Description
1 online resource (43 min.)
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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    a| In the last decades, colleges around the country have faced student protests over the wages paid maintenance employees. Harvard, the richest university in the world, is no exception. While its endowments have tripled in the last fifteen years, it has outsourced jobs, slashed wages and benefits for its lowest paid workers, and resisted efforts to unionize. Appalled at Harvard's practices, the students galvanized into action. They proposed a Living Wage Programme, which Harvard refused to consider. After three years of peaceful protests the students occupied Massachusetts Hall, site of the President s office. Soon a "tent city" sprang up on campus as other students joined the campaign. Gradually the workers joined the protest, no longer afraid to lose their jobs. With the threat of wildcat strikes and civil disobedience growing, the administration was forced to negotiate. The President accepted unprecedented wage increases and established a committee to review labor policies. Consuelo, a janitor, says "Those kids are unbelievable. They are my inspiration, my heroes."
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