Monday, November 16, 2009
Candidate for HUCTW
Union Rep, Widener
I'm running for Widener Rep because of my strong commitment to social justice. For nearly two decades I've participated in community-oriented activism and organizing. As a Union Rep, I will keep employees updated about union resources and actions. I'll also do everything I can to help union members who have problems on the job.
Before I joined HUCTW, I was elected Shop Steward here at Harvard, as a Security Officer in SEIU (Service Employees' International Union) local 615. I acted as a source of information, and investigated and handled grievances. I won major, precedent-setting cases, including reversing terminations, and recovered union members' lost wages and vacation days. I fought for and won unemployment benefits and back pay for my fellow workers. I also served on the union negotiating team at our contract talks with management, which achieved seniority rights, much-improved wages, and an effective grievance procedure with arbitration, among other benefits.
During the struggle for our first contract, I helped organize large "living wage" rallies on campus. I worked closely with pro-labor students, and with members of HUCTW who supported the security officers. I maintain those links today, and believe that cross-union solidarity and work with sympathetic student organizations can help HUCTW too! We are always strongest when we stand together.
Recently I have participated in the No Layoffs Campaign, initiated by activists in HUCTW. I feel our union should publicly oppose layoffs. We need to make sure that the laid-off workers get rehired! I also believe we should push strongly for seniority rights, which help prevent age discrimination, and make jobs worth keeping, in our next contract. A no layoffs clause in the contract would be a big step forward, and I will advocate for this. Harvard still has incredible resources and I believe we should bargain from a position of strength, and push for good raises and a cost-of-living adjustment, which we need in such an expensive city.
On December 8, I hope you will consider voting for me, and the other members of the No Layoffs Campaign. Together we will win! Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.