APRIL 2, 2008

Today, several members of the Student Labor Action Project presented to the Board of Trustees, demanding that UVM adopt a livable wage policy by April 2, 2008.

We have done everything within our power to work with the administration, from the Basic Needs Task Force to being deliberately misled during the hunger strike. Once again we have issued a deadline for President Fogel to live up to his words. We believe this is a reasonable request, and well within the means of the University.

Join SLAP as we put pressure on the administration to make real change at our school and give workers the respect and dignity they deserve!

We meet on tuesday nights at 6:30pm in Lafayette 210. All are welcome!

February 23, 2008

Hunger Strike Day 3

Hey everyone! It is the morning of day 3 and we are enjoying tea outside of President Fogel’s office. Though we hear that he is not even in town. Way to be a good leader. We are escalating and building this campaign to really force the administration to listen. They are trying to spin the hunger strike into a safety issue. There is an easy way to remedy the “safety” issue: a comprehensive livable wage policy for all workers!! We know what we’re doing. We are starving ourselves until UVM does the right thing.

All us strikers are feeling good. Day 3 without food! We are starting to notice dips in weight and a little weakness, but we’re doing alright. But this campaign is not about hunger striking, its about livable wages. Write Fogel now and tell him to do the right thing! daniel.fogel@uvm.edu, 802 656-3186

Sam

HUNGER STRIKE Day 1

Well here we we are, about 8 hours into day 1 of our hunger strike for livable wages and workers rights at UVM. There are 12 strikers in all. We kicked off the day by setting up camp outside of Waterman. We brought chairs, tents, and lots of banners and information to be as visible and accessible as possible. We were visited by a few members of the press who conducted interviews, which is a great first step. We also had a meeting with Pat Brown about a permit for staying outside. We got a tentative ok but he need to “look into some things.” We’ll see what happens…

It is simultaneously exhilerating and nervewracking to be hunger striking. I feel good so far, a little light-headed, but all in all more energized than ever before to really win a livable wage. It’s not easy to give up food. Its really difficult actually. It seems like a lot of people are supporting us, when I walk around campus everyone looks over at me. It feels good to know that the students are behind us. But it feels even better when the workers come by and thank us for our work. We’re doing the right thing, and we’re in a position like we’ve never been before. We will not be silent!!

SLAP to go on hunger strike for livable wages

Today representatives of SLAP, numbering 17, met with President Fogel and Vice President for Campus & Student Life Thomas Gustafson. SLAP presented the same demands that we have had throughout our campaign, and President Fogel responded with excuses and unjustifiable statements of purported commitment. Claims were made about labor law and the “respect the process” attitude towards collective bargaining by Fogel. He seems to miss the point. This is our school and we will NOT wait three years for the next contract negotiation. And more importantly the workers will not wait three more years. Poverty has a face and it is rearing its ugly head at the University of Vermont. That this injustice is allowed to continue is deplorable.

Today’s meeting ended with a heartfelt statement by Kat, who made it clear that we are not giving up. We handed over our press release, held hands, and sat in silence. President Fogel looked shocked, then left the room.

Beginning monday members of SLAP are going on hunger strike until UVM implements a REAL livable wage policy. The entire community is united. No more excuses, no more delays, no more pretty words. No compromise in the defense of workers rights.

We will not be silent,

The Student Labor Action Project

Statement on WHY WE STRIKE

Basic Needs Breakfast! plus meeting…

We all woke up to sun this morning, and remembering the plans from our meeting last night at 9, we knew we were heading to Waterman for breakfast outside the President’s wing. (Do we have info on our meeting? we can post that in a bit.) Sooo, Sam doing the early morning (5) watch (because we have shifts to keep ourselves safe through the night), decided that he would make OATMEAL. He made some at 7:30 and then hauled it to Waterman, were a group of about ten of us sat down in a circle in front of the famous glass doors. Per usual, Administrator nerves came into play and they assured us we couldn’t come into the wing. Reminiscent of months ago, they locked us out–but an even more appropriate statement is they locked themselves IN, away from the school and our community. We were told VP Gustafson would speak with us, so we waited. Out came Gary Derr and said they would meet us in memorial lounge. We went with oatmeal and arranged table and chairs, and in came Derr, Gustafson, and Rosalee (i forget last names easily) who has been discussing with us the grounds maintainence and safety. Sam opened discussion with our demands after Derr coyly asked us what was up (as if we had nothing to say in reply). He included that we didn’t believe President Fogel’s response to the administration was acceptable and it was important we opened the discussion up again. Derr was the only one to sit at the end of the table, and he assured us again and again he would take these things back to the President. Fogel is out until “late friday night”. Isaac mentioned the benefits issue and had many awesome comments on the importance of a livable wage and how UVM would be setting an example they already claim to uphold. I reminded Derr after his comment that our campaign has been long and seemed to say something along the lines of it being uneccessary to continue and that the issue was over, that many people were not happy with the response and that many still want to continue. Max added the faculty senate, the grad senate, SGA have all signed in support of our actions in the past. Last night SGA passed two emergency resolutions in support of both tent city (10 sponsors!!) and free speech. Ahh have to go, but they said that we would take it day by day and they want a mission of our goals (haha, like they don’t know) and that perhaps we would all sit down next week. Sure as heck got no promises. More to come, love KAT

State of the Permit

After negotiations, we are permitted through noon on Thursday. A clause was written in the permit that allows for renegotiation. We are still pushing for at least this week and hopefully next as well. Stop by Tent City for more info.

Tent City Day 2

Day 2 at Tent City for livable wages has been quite the adventure! After being removed from the Main Green because it is “too wet,” we were moved to the tree square right outside of the Royall Tyler Theatre. After assessing this location, we decided that is really a better spot than the end of the Green where we had been set up. The new location is very high traffic for students on campus. It also has power and provides easy access to the rest of campus.

Our message remains the same. UVM must pay a livable wage to call campus workers. We constantly tout our commitment to social justice, responsibility, values, and being leaders in society, yet UVM is consciously not living up to this goal by refusing to provide workers with enough to support their families. This is an issue of redefining poverty and what we want out of our society. People working a full time job deserve enough to be able to support their families. When workers are forced to work two or more jobs, it is a constant struggle to get by, let alone being able to spend time with family. We must create a society that values human life more than it values reputation or profits.

We at Tent City are creating an alternative and demanding that UVM be accountable to its words and its workers. UVM: Do the right thing!


Welcome to the weblog of the Student Labor Action Project, a campaign of Students for Peace & Global Justice, at the University of Vermont! Here you will find up to date goings on of SLAP, your local worker-student solidarity collective!
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