Friday, September 6, 2013

Campaign to get Justice for Nassim, Paul and Mamadou Continues -- Workers and Students Picket on 8/26/13

As first year students move in across the Harvard campus, activists in the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW), and supporters from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM),  and the community, gather to fight union-busting, discriminatory layoffs and racism in the workplace. Nassim, an immigrant from Algeria and employee of HUMS (Harvard University Mail Services), became a union rep this year for the first time this year, to swiftly face a demotion of three salary grades by a manager who told him his English isn't good enough to be a Coordinator (the position he's held for 9 years!). Paul's position was made "essential" in October 2012 (meaning it was so vital he had to report for work during weather emergencies). He then had surgery and had to take a disability leave. He was laid off from his newly "essential" position in Harvard's Science Center one month after returning from his approved leave. Management's excuse is that now there's suddenly not enough work to justify maintaining the position. Paul's duties were distributed to other staff, and his co-workers think he faced a discriminatory termination simply because he had to take time off for surgery. Mamadou has long worked in HUMS "less than half-time" employee. He gets no paid time off and just $11.50/hr for a workweek of just 17 hours. The HUCTW contract says Mamadou's position should have been a union job five years ago, but Harvard's representatives say the university (which has a $32 billion endowment) isn't in a position to do anything for Mamadou. The campaign to get justice for Nassim, Paul and Mamadou will continue during the Fall semester and for as long as necessary.