Cornell Service Workers Settle Contract Favorably with Administration; Thanks to All Workers’ Center Members Who Took Action!

Thanks to everyone who responded to the Workers’ Center call about six weeks ago in support of a fair contract with Living Wages for Cornell service workers; over 500 emails were sent by Workers’ Center Members and supporters through our email action alert telling Cornell Adminstration that we demanded a fair and just contract.

On July 21st, the 1,200 member bargaining unit (United Auto Workers) overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract. Student support, as manifested through the important leadership of the Cornell Organization for Labor Action (a Workers’ Center Coalition partner) was an important factor in the gains made.

In addition to the significant wage gains made by the workers through the new contract, the UAW’s campaign over the past year highlighted the severe underemployment and low annual income, especially among dining workers. This campaign helped to create a a joint labor-management committee that will help to restructure the workforce to bring more workers up to full time employment (many workers only end up working nine months a year!) The goal is to provide at least 48 weeks of annual employement at regular hours of work for both full and part time regular employees.

Many other contract improvements were made, illustrating the fact that when workers join together to take ‘concerted action’ through a union, that we are made stronger.