Hey everyone,

Tonight I went to a meeting facilitated by Jon Weissman from Western Mass Jobs with Justice. We are trying to start a chapter of the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) in this area. I went to the meeting and represented SACA. This is really exciting news! If we can get this SLAP chapter established, be prepared for a lot more activism!

Here are some notes from the meeting:

We’ll meet the 2nd Thursday of every month. Right now meetings are at Mt. Holyoke, Blanchard Campus Center, Room 318, 7:00-8:30pm. Everyone is welcome. Next meeting is December 9th.

 

Goal 1: Raise money so that we can have an organizer go to all 18 colleges involved in the area. This will be much easier than trying to get a representative from each college at one meeting. If we have an organizer, they can go to each individual college, meet with the SLAPtivists (as they call it!), and keep us up-to-date on what is going on with the organization.

 
Goal 2: If a labor union approaches SLAP, we (the students) will be there to lend our support to help organize and support the fight.

 
We talked about Sodexo and their impact in this area. This is my understanding: Sodexo is a company that many colleges in the area use to contract out their dining service workers (Smith is not one of those colleges). Local SEIU 615 is working to raise wages and working conditions for workers who are under Sodexo’s contract. They are also trying to change the contract Sodexo has with its workers to a global contract (this is used with Sodexo employees in Europe). The global contract is more humane for workers because it ensures that they cannot be fired or harassed for joining a union. They are also trying to draft a responsible contractor policy.

 
Cleveland, OH (Evergreen Corporative) has been moving towards using more locally owned and operated services for some of their major corporations. For example, hiring a worker-owned laundry service. We’d love to see an initiative like this in MA.

 
The Center for Popular Economics is an organization at UMass that hosts workshops about the economy and how to negotiate from a working-class perspective. They help people who are fighting for economic justice by examining the roots of economic inequality.

 

Have a good weekend! See you at the Workshop on Monday! November 15, 6:30-8:30, CC 102. Let’s learn about classism at Smith!

-Emily Huesman

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