HIGHTOWER: Harvard's Minginess

Harvard University is use to having such accolades as "great," "prestigous," and "powerful" applied to it . . . but now there's another term that applies to this bastion of educational excellence: mingy.

The administrators of America's wealthiest university, sitting on a $19 billion endowment, have turned both mean and stingy toward Harvard's lowest-paid workers, adamantly and arrogantly refusing to pay a living wage to about 1,000 people the university counts on to clean its buildings, prepare meals in its dining halls, and guard its dorms.  These custodians, kitchen workers,and guards do labor that is both essential and honorable, yet the pooh-bahs of Harvard pay them as low as $6.50 an hour, without benefits-a poverty wage from a school wallowing in wealth.

Worse, Harvard has been an aggressive wage-buster.  For example, it recently contracted with an outside firm to provide security guards, displacing about 100 of its own guards, whacking the pay from $12 an hour to only $8, and effectively busting the guard's union.

Outraged and embarrassed that their administration is the source of such poverty, a group of scrappy students has been standing up for the workers . . . and for simple fairness.  For two years, they've held endless meetings with aloof administrative functionaries, demanding that Harvard establish an honorable wage floor of $10.25 an hour.  Harvard's haughty hierarchy, however, has refused even to consider it.  Apparently, the administartors assumed that the students would tire of the fight and simply go away.

This is Jim Hightower saying . . . No way!  Indeed,the students have turned up the heat.  About 40 of them have occupied the president's office for a prolonged sit-in, many more have set up a tent-city of support right smack in the middle of  Harvard Yard, and hundreds attend daily protest rallies.  Harvard is getting more publicity than it can stand, and it's being taught a lesson by its students-a great university can't claim the moral high ground, while slinking down the path of low-wage minginess.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.