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LWAC gets cold in Buffalo
February 17, 2006

Danielle and I just spent a fun-filled weekend at the University at Buffalo where we met with students who are part of the University at Buffalo Students Against Sweatshops group. They are currently working on a Living Wage Campaign focusing on the fact that many of the subcontracted janitors are getting paid dramatically less than the directly hired workers who are represented by CSEA local 602. Why isn’t there ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’? I ran into this same question at Georgetown when I was a member of the Georgetown Solidarity Committee working on a living wage campaign. It’s not a coincidence that both campuses have faced similar issues; in fact contracting out workers is a tactic used by campus administrators across the country to get away with paying contracted workers significantly less for the same work as directly hired workers.

UBSAS’ demands include wage parity and equal health benefits for all campus workers with the directly hired janitors in the CSEA local, contract disclosure and perhaps Card-Check Neutrality so that workers have the opportunity to join a union free from intimidation and harassment.

The students recently sent President Simpson a letter presenting their demands and are planning a meeting with him in the next couple of weeks to talk about the campaign and demand that the university take action. If nothing happens, the students have potential plans to escalate during the National Student Labor Week of Action. Keep posted to hear how this meeting goes and what happens this spring!

diane (at)



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