Tag Archives: workers’ rights

No One Shows Up to Rally for Laid-Off Hospital Workers

by Conor Doherty, ’13

This piece originally appeared in The Stanford Flipside, a satirical publication.

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Recently laid-off hospital workers reached out to the student body for support at a rally in White Plaza last week. The organizers of the rally had hoped to capitalize on the excitement on campus surrounding labor issues, spurred by the takeover of Suites dining clubs and the unceremonious dismissal of their longtime staff. However, organizers were disappointed when no one showed up to the rally for the now unemployed hospital workers.

“We thought this was a great opportunity to harness the interest and energy of such an engaged and resourceful student body,” said Elizabeth Sutter, speaking on behalf of the laid-off staff. “It’s great to see the students getting involved. I just wish they realized the wide array of labor disputes going on around campus.”  Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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Addressing Inequality on Campus

by Laurel Fish ‘14, on behalf of the Stanford Labor Action Coalition

With Stanford’s generous financial aid policies and all-you-care-to-eat meal plans, it’s easy to think that inequality ends when we step onto campus. We tutor in East Palo Alto, travel to Central America, host speakers from off campus, and volunteer in free clinics in order to experience “the real world.” What many forget however, is that poverty, inequality, and other unfair realities of “the real world” exist on our campus. The postcard visage of the Stanford Bubble is serviced, maintained, cooked, pruned, and repaired by workers.

Stanford workers are essential to our lives, but how many of us know their names, whether they have a manageable workload, or whether they make enough money to support their families? Yet more important than individual recognition, is institutional responsibility. Continue reading

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Petition: Give Row Chefs Back The Holidays They Deserve

Sign Stanford Labor Action Coalition’s petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/give-stanford-row-chefs/

For decades, Row houses have paid chefs and hashers bonus and vacation pay over winter break. This year, for the first time, they will not receive these bonuses or pay.

This is unacceptable. Continue reading
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