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S.T.A.N.D. rally and RAK Speak Out

Students Toward a New Democracy (S.T.A.N.D.) and Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) will be at the Rock holding a Speak Out at noon to show their appreciation for University of Miami cleaners and landscapers, whose contract expires on Tuesday.

S.T.A.N.D. and RAK members intend for it to be an event of unity.

“I want to be able to show UM workers and UNICCO that student appreciation is still there and all workers should be treated with respect and given wages above the poverty line,” said Stephanie Sandhu, a S.T.A.N.D. member.

A few workers will share stories about their personal backgrounds and why they should be getting higher wages.  Then, one member from each S.T.A.N.D. and RAK will speak.

After, the participants will take a letter to UM President Donna Shalala’s office to vocally support the workers’ requests for higher wages and other benefits.

Two weeks ago, these workers held a rally to vote on the authorization of a strike against UNICCO, the company that subcontracts them to the university. When the workers’ union tried to negotiate with UNICCO on a renewal of their four-year contract, the company created a freeze on wages, one-year contract and rejected most of their other proposals.

Monday through Wednesday of last week, the bargaining committee of the union and UNICCO Vice President of Labor Relations, the UM general manager and another UM manager went through hours of negotiation.

“We’re still very far apart,” says Eric Brakken, Florida Director of the Service Employees International Union. “Frankly, they’re no longer demanding workers take no raises. But wages are extremely low at a 25 cent raise.”

The committee could not get UNICCO or UM to budge on considering the other major requests, except time off on Martin Luther King Day.

Tomorrow, they will meet with UNICCO and UM representatives for a last attempt at resolution for a renewal of the workers’ contract.  If needs are not met, workers will strike.

Andrea Concepcion may be contacted at aconcepcion@themiamihurricane.com.

August 29, 2010

Reporters

Andrea Concepcion

Contributing News Writer


3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “S.T.A.N.D. rally and RAK Speak Out”

  1. Nate S. says:

    Jacob, in today’s economic climate, people have to be realistic. Back in 06, I supported that strike, because of the fact that these people were completely hosed over. Due to the hard work of so many, these workers can now organize without being harassed, they are now free to take advantage of English classes that will help some of these workers move onto better employment opportunities, but honestly. Have you looked around at the job market lately? People with what used to be valuable degrees can’t find work, and are stuck flipping burgers. Striking right now won’t do anything, but get these poor people laid off/fired/, and replaced with people who may even take less, just to have a steady source of income. You have to look at the economic climate, and understand that times are extremely tough.

  2. Jacob says:

    oh I check this blog out for more information, its the UM faculty blog spot “picketline”. http://picketline.blogspot.com/

  3. Jacob says:

    I’m so happy to see that students and workers will stand together- I know that the university can live up to its values, but they need to hear that people will fight poverty wages. Thank you,
    Jake

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.