Dining hall workers will decide tonight whether or not to grant top union officials permission to call a strike at any point in the workers’ upcoming contract negotiations.
Sources within the union expect the motion to pass.
Approval of the authorization vote will allow the negotiating committee of Local 26 of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union to call a strike after the current contract with Harvard expires on June 19.
A clause in the current contract prevents dining hall workers from striking.
“A strike authorization will show the strength of the ranks in the kitchen,” Co-Chief Shop Steward and Adams House Chef Edward B. Childs said. “It will show that conditions are intolerable.
Childs sits on a large contract committee with 60 members from all the dining halls. They have been working since the summer to create a new contract.
The contract committee will also present to the members of the union the terms they will seek from the university.
“We have to bring it all to the workers to say: ‘Is that what we want to ask?’ We have to make sure that we’re representing the membership,” Childs said.
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