Tag Archives: labor

Stop Layoffs and Managerial Abuse at Stanford Hospital and Clinics

by the Stanford Labor Action Coalition

STOP unfair layoffs, 
BLOCK salary and benefit cuts due to subcontracting, and 
END harassment of workers and unrealistic speed-ups. 


Over the past few months, outsourcing and subcontracting at Stanford Hospital and Clinics (SHC) has threatened the jobs of dozens of workers. SHC has recently laid off over a dozen janitorial workers and plans to lay off more by the end of this year. At the School of Medicine, SHC laid off thirteen of its original thirty-eight housekeeping assistants. Of the remaining twenty-five workers, sixteen have been given provisional employment until October 2013 (at which point they will most likely be laid off), and nine have been converted to “float workers” with no guarantee of permanent employment.

These layoffs have forced severe work speed-ups and paved the way for jobs to be outsourced to a subcontractor, despite the fact that subcontractors on campus consistently provide fewer benefits, lower wages, and worse working conditions. Continue reading

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10 Signs That Classism Exists

by Danny McKay, ’14

In CSRE 26SI, a student-led course about allyship, students were asked to come up with 10 pieces of evidence to prove that certain prejudices exist. Here are Danny’s 10 signs that classism exists:

1. I recently heard someone I know call someone else a “pleb.”

2. Andrew Mitchell, former Chief of the UK Conservative Party, resigned after calling a policeman a pleb.

3. The average income of the richest 10% of the world’s population is about 9 times that of the poorest 10%.

4. The cost of the Invasion/Occupation of Iraq (i.e., money, lives) falls on the poor, while the rich (i.e., CEOs, politicians) benefit.

5. During Hurricane Katrina, the rich were evacuated, while the poor stayed and suffered. Continue reading

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Stop the Clark Center Layoffs

by the Stanford Labor Action Coalition

Below is an open letter from the Stanford Labor Action Coalition to the Stanford administration concerning the impending layoffs of seven workers at the James H. Clark Center. These layoffs follow from the administration’s decision to subcontract janitorial services to Flagship Facility Services. By deciding to subcontract these services, rather than maintain direct hiring practices, the administration has decided to relinquish their responsibility to protect workers from increasingly insecure working conditions.

The early winter quarter date chosen for these layoffs assumes students will be unable to fight back during the break. We hope the Stanford community will undermine this cynical calculus. Join us in defense of the workers slated to lose their jobs on January 9th by:

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We are workers, we are not slaves!

by Adrian Bonifacio, ’13

The skyline of Hong Kong reads like an issue of Fortune 500. Samsung, HSBC, Phillips, Hitachi, COSCO—their buildings reach out from the bay as if to form the fingers of the capitalist invisible hand, now made so conspicuous by its flashing neon lights. Thanks to the boom in its economy after WWII, and especially after the 1980s transition into a largely service-based economy, Hong Kong has become one of the richest regions in all of Asia. But, as with many other developed capitalist economies, the United States far from excluded, inequality runs rampant. An article  published earlier this year exposes the literal cages some citizens are forced to live in. The article reminds us that poverty and desperation can be easily hidden from our consciousness by a high-figured GDP. In this way, the stories of another “imprisoned” population living within Hong Kong are also absent from our fields of vision: those of migrant domestic workers.

I shared my life with Filipina domestic workers for just under three months this past summer—singing, learning, laughing, rallying, dancing, picketing, and of course, eating. But the majority of the time I spent with them was spent being humbled. Continue reading

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Undercover Sociologist: Stanford Barista Reveals the Brighter Side of Dark Roast

by ABCrane, Stanford employee and Sociologist

It’s seven in the morning and the line is already out the door! Welcome to Stanford’s Med Cafe in the gorgeous new Li Ka Shing building. As medical students, researchers, and the rest of Stanford’s scientific community line up for their morning caffeine infusion, Stanford’s blue collar counterpart churn the wheels of the great immobile food cart of Stanford Hospitality & Dining Enterprises.   Chefs, dishwashers, food preparers—all behind the scenes—grind the daily cleaver to present an amazingly delicious gourmet medley of soups, sandwiches, salads and hot entries. In the front of the house, baristas steam lattes, brew coffees, mix the mocha, and ring up orders at rapid speeds while maintaining a pleasant smile and cheery ambience.

But behind the smiley faces and friendly “have a nice days”, what is truly brewing? Two years ago, I took a job as a barista at Med Cafe. But, having just published my book, Project Integrity International: Philosophy & Plan for a New Economy, why take such a position so seemingly far removed from my intellectual pursuits?

Experience! I needed the experience of working in a cafe so as to one day open my own. Continue reading

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See Lisa Ramirez’ ‘Exit Cuckoo’ at Stanford

by Sam Storey, ’13

Imagine for a moment that one day you are forced out of your home, either out of economic necessity or actual coercion. You are ripped from your children, some of them still infants, and taken to a country that speaks a foreign language and engages in mysterious cultural practices, where you are hired to take care of someone else’s child. Missing your own babies every day, you are forced to provide someone else’s child with the love and affection that you know they are not receiving from his or her own mother. You are effectively denied the ability to raise your own children as you are forced to raise someone else’s for little pay or respect.

This is a lived reality for countless immigrants who are hired as nannies by American mothers. These brave women have voices, stories to tell that tend to be ignored or pushed aside particularly at Stanford, where we often live jaded, myopic lives, blind to all those who sacrifice for our happiness. But tonight, that all changes. This evening, at 8:00 P.M., actress and playwright Lisa Ramirez will be performing her critically-acclaimed play Exit Cuckoo at The Nitery, opening up a dialogue about these women’s lives. Continue reading

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Stanford: End Cuts and Threats Against Dining Hall Workers

Please sign in support of Stanford dining hall workers! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stanford-dining/

Thank you for your support of the Row chefs and hashers. In a meeting today, Vice Provost Boardman and Dean Golder promised to work with Stanford Labor Action Coalition and student Row staff on integrating the demands from our previous petition into future contracts. Yet reports of the effects of cost-cutting on workers continue to come from food service workers on the Row and in the dining halls. In dining halls, administration has cut staff, hours, and benefits, while forcing work speed-ups and hiring lower-paid, temporary workers over full-time employees. We object to these changes, and ask that you join us by signing our petition below.

End Cuts and Threats Against Dining Hall Workers
In the past few years, Stanford Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE)has expanded to include four additional residences and the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons while cutting the number of workers and the hours of the workers who remain. Adding insult to injury, R&DE managers also disrespect, threaten, and intimidate workers while manipulating their hours, breaks, and days off, committing multiple violations of federal and state labor law and the workers’ collective bargaining agreement.In addition to these speed-ups, R&DE has reduced many workers to part-time, 75% status, even though they still assign many of these workers a 40-hour weekly workload. Being at 75% status means these workers’ benefits, including health care, vacation pay, and accrued time towards retirement, are significantly reduced. R&DE has also fired permanent workers only to rehire them as temporary workers, reducing their pay and benefits and eliminating their ability to join a labor union.Managers also insult and demean their employees’ work as valueless. Managers have called their employees’ work “children’s work” and have yelled at them to work faster. Some R&DE managers have prohibited workers from talking to students and, when they do, threatened to move them to work at Arrillaga Dining, which already has a notorious reputation among the workers as one of the worst working environments.

While workers have faced many of these problems for years, Stanford administration continues to justify greater cuts and worsening conditions – both in Dining and on the Row – with the economic crisis. Stanford offers this reasoning despite consistently increasing tuition, board, and housing bills and having one of the largest endowments in the world, which increased by 22% last fiscal year. Stanford administration clearly does not need to cut workers’ compensation but nevertheless uses the dismal job market to frighten workers into accepting cuts and worsening conditions. Stanford shouldn’t follow this shameful trend of making cuts on the backs of hard-working people but rather should set an example by providing good, secure jobs in Dining, Row houses, and all parts of campus.

In light of the above facts we demand that Stanford University: Continue reading

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Un Janitor Sueña

by Doroteo García, Stanford janitor



Alguien camina por las noches
Hasta muy tarde, en la Universidad
De Stanford
No es un estudiante
No es un profesor.
Aveces lo encuentras, dentro
De un salón de clases,
Dentro de un auditorio,
no es investigador.
Otras veces lo puedes ver
Dentro de un taller o
Dentro de un laboratorio
Pero no es Doctor
También lo podras ver
Adentro de algunas oficinas
Pero no es administrador Continue reading

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Progressive Summer Opportunities

Looking for a meaningful way to spend your summer? Stanford activists share their most memorable experiences.

ACLU National Prison Project
Sharada Jambulapati [sharjam@gmail.com]

I helped in the office by responding to prisoner mail and conducting research on legal cases, prisoner rights, and state correctional budgets. I enjoyed being in DC with top lawyers working on prisoner rights issues.  I was able to visit local jail facilities with lawyers and attend congressional hearings featuring Justice Breyer and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Van Anh Tran [vananht@stanford.edu]

I worked mainly in APEN’s Development Office and learned a lot about the work that goes into fundraising for a non-profit organization and grassroots fundraising techniques. This organization generally worked with the older immigrant population in Oakland’s Chinatown and the Laotian community in Richmond, California. In the past, they had campaigns to prevent Chevron from expanding their refinery in Richmond (which they succeeded to do!) When I worked there, there were efforts to teach the very pivotal population of Oakland’s Chinatown to vote. Near the end of my time that summer, APEN was starting an effort to create a coalition among the various environmental justice organizations in California to develop a grassroots effort to combat climate change and affect state policy. Also near the end of my time there, APEN was starting a campaign to combat the Dirty Energy Proposition (Prop 23). As an intern, I wrote letters to potential donors and allies and was able to attend many, many meetings–from attending a workshop for the elderly in Chinatown to listening to amazing Asian American activists speak about their experiences during the 1960s in APEN’s partner organizations in San Francisco. I was able to attend many rallies and was able to do precinct walks (related to Prop 23). Continue reading

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Row Chefs and Hashers Community Update

Dear Stanford Community Members,

Thank you for signing the petition in support of the Row house chefs and hashers. Thanks to you and over 1,400 other Stanford community members, Dean Golder and other administrators met with Stanford Labor Action Coalition about the situation. Sadly, they refused to reinstate the workers’ holiday bonuses or to address any of the other grievances raised in the petition, leaving the workers struggling to make ends meet over the holidays.

The workers’ direct employer, Student Organized Services (SOS), had to make cuts to workers’ pay after being forced by Residential Education (ResEd) and Business Affairs, who contract SOS, to compete with anti-worker subcontractors for the provision of Row kitchen staff.For decades, SOS uniquely operated as the sole provider of labor to Row houses through student-controlled house-by-house contracts managed by SOS. For the 2010-2011 academic year, Stanford rightly decided to standardize board bills to make them affordable for students on financial aid. To that end, Stanford centralized a contract with SOS through ResEd rather than through individual houses.

This centralization brought the Row board bills to the attention of Business Affairs, which directed ResEd to open the bidding for the provision of these services to other companies in the 2011-2012 academic year in order to cut costs. Continue reading

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