Harvard janitors set deadline to strike if labor talks fail

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard University’s janitors say they’ll go on strike if they can’t reach a deal on a new labor contract by Nov. 15.

A union representing 700 custodians at Harvard voted Thursday to strike if they don’t reach an agreement with the school by the deadline, which is when their current contract expires. The 32BJ SEIU union has been negotiating with Harvard since Oct. 7.

The union says it’s demanding a path to full-time jobs, affordable health care and wage increases to keep up with the cost of living.

University officials say they have worked hard to ensure fair wages of $22 an hour and competitive benefits.

Harvard’s cafeteria workers ended a three-week strike last month after the school met many of their demands. It was Harvard’s first strike since 1983.