CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Monday, April 24, 2006

University of Miami - Staff ofn Hunger Strike

Every once in a while (actually more often than that) we get an appeal from
workers which makes you sit up and really take notice.

The hunger strike now taking place at the University of Miami, in the United
States, is one of those times.

It's all over the front page of LabourStart and has been for the last two
weeks. But it was the videos (now showing on that
really did it for me.

Janitors, housekeepers and groundkeepers at the university have been demanding
what is a simple, basic human right -- the right to join a union. Their
employer is threatening them and intimidating them, and the university is
refusing to lift a hand to support them in their struggle.

They are demanding that former Clinton administration official Donna Shalala,
who is president of the university, intervene in the dispute and tell the
company (called UNICCO) to recognize these workers' right to form a union.
Shalala is stubbornly refusing.

They have gone on a liquids-only hunger strike -- both the workers and a half
dozen university students. Civil rights leaders, politicians and labour
leaders have rallied to their cause. The workers are laying their very lives
on the line for dignity at work. Already, several have been hospitalized.

They are asking us to do two very simple things:

1. Go right now to this page --

-- and send off your message to Donna Shalala.

2. Forward on this email to everyone you know, especially students and others
at universities. Publish it on your blogs and websites. Print it out and hang
it on bulletin boards. Reproduce it in your newsletters.

Help us mobilize thousands, and then tens of thousands, to overwhelm Donna
Shalala with emails of protest in the next few hours and days.

These workers must not feel that they are alone. They have the support of the
entire international labour movement behind them. Let us show them that today,
right now.

Solidarity forever!

Thank you.

Eric Lee of Labourstart


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