Harvard dining hall employees go on strike

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Dining hall workers at Harvard University have gone on strike over wages and health care benefits.

Dozens of workers started picketing at the Ivy League school on Wednesday morning.

The strike started after months of negotiations by the dining workers’ union, Unite Here Local 26, and Harvard administrators, failed to lead to a new contract.

The union says the university’s health care proposals are unaffordable to the workers. The university says the workers already receive generous wages and benefits when compared to other food service workers in the region and that changes to health plans are “modest.”

“Harvard is being disingenuous. A modest increase isn’t going from a zero copayment to $100 copayment,” said Brian Lang, president of Unite Here Local 26.

Some Harvard dining halls remain open and the university says it has a contingency plan to make sure that all students are fed.

In a statement to 7News, Harvard University said:

“Harvard deeply values the contributions of its dining services employees, as evidenced by the fact that they receive some of the most generous hourly wages and benefits for food service workers in the region….We have proposed creative solutions to issues presented by the union, and hoped union representatives would contribute to finding creative, workable solutions at the negotiation table. They have been unwilling to do so.”



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