A better Tulane, a better New Orleans
Saturday January 19th 2019

Give Thanks to Tulane Workers Feast & BBQ

On Friday, November 19th we will be serving free food from 11:30 until whenever we run out of free food. Come have a meal–it’s totally free, though you should also sign our giant worker thank-you card. The food will be delicious, thanks to all the wonderful people who have chosen to donate to our campaign, as well as the following restaurants that will be donating food for the event:

Cafe Abyssinia
Pepperoni’s Cafe
Lebanon Cafe
Voodoo BBQ
The Dough Bowl
Maple Street Patisserie

and fresh burgers and veggie burgers and home-made baked goods! Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s true.

Also, check out this documentary that our good friend Lula Fotis made about the campaign. Yes, it’s posted below, but it’s just that awesome:

Clean Up Sodexo from Lula Fotis on Vimeo.

Worker Appreciation Celebration and March Toward Workers’ Rights

Come to Justice Square (in front of McAlister Auditorium) at 12 noon on Wednesday. You can hear from these awesome people about what’s up with our campaign to bring labor justice to Tulane!

Miss Jenetta- LBC worker
Miss Tramita- Bruff worker
Steve Striffler- Chair, Latin American Studies UNO
*Alice Craft-Kerney- Executive director Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic
Thomas Adams- Tulane faculty
Mary Alice Sandberg- Tulane student
Benjamin Zucker- Tulane student
*- unconfirmed

Justice Square and National Campus Worker Appreciation Week

This week (November 15-19) is National Campus Worker Appreciation Week

In celebration of National Campus Worker Appreciation Week TUPAC will be set up on McAlister Pl. between feret and Willow.

Come and Support Campus Workers 9-4 Monday through Friday
Come and Support Campus Workers 9-4 Monday through Friday

We will have awesome events every day including a RALLY on WEDNESDAY AT NOON on the steps of McAlister auditorium. Please come by and show your appreciation and support for campus workers!

MONDAY Get The Message? (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM) Write letters and call local news outlets to get the word out about the campaign for Tulane workers’ rights. Justice Square.
TUESDAY Creativity for Change! (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM) A day of arts and crafts geared towards creating signs for our rally and thank-you cards to campus workers, while enjoying live music. Justice Square.
WEDNESDAY Worker Appreciation Celebration and March Towards Workers’ Rights (Noon – 1:00 PM) The New Orleans community will join Tulane students, workers and faculty to celebrate campus workers and urge Tulane to hold its contractors like Sodexo liable for their misdeeds.  Workers, students, faculty and community leaders will speak out. The festivities begin outside McAlister Auditorium (McAlister Pl., between Willow and Freret).
THURSDAY Fair for Fair Wages (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM) A carnival to celebrate worker rights! Activities to include face painting, juggling, and games. Justice Square.
FRIDAY Feast: Free Community Thanksgiving Lunch (11:30 AM) Join students and workers to share a meal donated by our community partners. Food is free, but bring a few dollars to donate to the cause! At Justice Square.

Restore Sanity on Campus Video

If your organization is interested in putting up a table or just doing your thing, if you are a professor who is interested in having class at Justice Square or if you want more information about how to get involved with National Campus Worker Appreciation Week please e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required" target="_blank">

The time for a labor code of conduct at Tulane is NOW. See you this week!
“A right delayed is a right denied.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Meeting with President Scott Cowen

TUPAC representatives will be meeting with President Cowen on Monday to discuss the labor code of conduct. So far, President Cowen has not taken a stance on the code of conduct, or even the idea of a labor code of conduct in general.

Tulane is one of the most important institutions in the economy of New Orleans and the surrounding region. It’s time we made sure that we’re setting the example and helping to improve standards in industries such as food service, in which working conditions are notoriously poor.

On April 6 of last year, President Cowen said “the treatment of Tulane University employees is already comprehensively covered in the faculty and staff handbooks and university employment policies. I mention this fact so that the issues you may have with Sodexo are not conflated with the existing Tulane policies regarding its treatment of university employees.”

It’s time to tell President Cowen that subcontracting employees does not relieve Tulane of the moral responsibility to ensure that they are provided with living wages, affordable benefits, and the right to form a union without intimidation. Sodexo, Unicco, and all subcontracted workers at Tulane are a part of our community too!

You can e-mail President Cowen at email hidden; JavaScript is required, and call his office at (504)865-5201.

Where’s the Progress?

On March 24, 2010, the Tulane University Solidarity Committee (now known as the Peace Action Committee) sent a letter to President Cowen telling him about our concerns that campus workers were not being paid living wages, were being mistreated and disrespected by their management, and were being intimidated as they sought to form a union. On April 6, 2010, President Cowen responded. In his response he made it clear that he does not consider Sodexo employees on campus a part of the Tulane community. He also stated that:

“Your request for Tulane to consider a Labor Code of Conduct for its outside vendors will be forwarded to the Social Issues Committee of the University Senate and to the university’s legal staff for review and consideration. This process is consistent with how we handle similar requests.”

Throughout last semester and the summer, we continued to stress the urgency of this issue, asking President Cowen to help us in moving the dialogue about labor standards on campus forward. On September 27, we delivered a streamlined Code of Conduct, hoping this would expedite the process. After almost 6 months, we wrote President Cowen, asking him to take some action on the Labor Code of Conduct by October 4th. Cowen didn’t meet that deadline, or even acknowledge it.

We were extremely surprised, then, when on October 8th, the Tulane Hullabaloo reported that: “Mike Hogg, vice president of student affairs, approved Thursday’s rally but said a policy proposal has not yet been submitted. ‘The normal process for review is for them to submit the proposal to the Social Issues Committee of the Faculty Senate,’ Hogg said.”

You can see for yourselves that we submitted a policy proposal on March, 24, 2010, and that President Cowen himself said that it had been forwarded to the Social Issues Committee. So why, on October 8, 2010, is the administration saying publicly that they have not received a policy proposal? We think it’s clear that the administration is trying to stall progress on this issue. After all, a delegation of workers that went to Cowen’s office over the summer were told that the next time they could meet with him was in 2012.

We have also tried to work directly with the Social Issues Committee, but after trying to set up a meeting to discuss the progress of the Code of Conduct, we were informed by the committee chair that “I don’t have any news that I can share with you at this point, so there’s no point in a meeting; when we set up the hearings, I’ll be sure to let you know. Thanks for your interest.” This, almost seven months after we submitted a proposed Labor Code of Conduct which was almost immediately forwarded to the Social Issues Committee.

The lack of attention this administration has given to the extremely serious questions about working conditions for subcontracted employees on campus is unacceptable. The leaders of our University cannot ignore a vital segment of our community simply because they work for us via a Sodexo contract, nor do we believe it is appropriate for the administration to stall and ignore students have nothing but a genuine interest in helping to make our University the place it ought to be.

If you think it’s time for Scott Cowen to quit sidelining this issue, send him an e-mail (email hidden; JavaScript is required), sign our petition, and sign up for our mailing list.

Raise Glasses to Raise Wages is back!

Wednesday we will have another Raise Glasses to Raise Wages event at the Boot! At this event we will be raffling off the following prizes:

– A party at the Boot valued at $200
– Free Spanish lessons
– free meals at local restaurants

We will have candy and baked goods for you to enjoy while you find out how you can bring justice to Tulane’s campus and win some awesome prizes!

Tulane Cafeteria Workers Strike to Protest Poverty Wages, Unaffordable Benefits and Unfair Labor Practices

We want to thank everyone who came out yesterday to support our workers! Together, we can make ourselves heard. Please send your pictures to email hidden; JavaScript is required. Here is some press coverage of the day’s events!

Also, we’d like here to address the claim from Sodexo that “only 12 of 170 workers failed to report”. This is an example of a technically true statement that is very misleading. 12 workers did not report means that 12 workers did not show up to work–another 35 workers actually came to work and then signed the strike letter and participated in the strike, which is a form of “reporting”.

Sodexo workers stage one-day walkout at Tulane, demand better wages
Thursday, October 07, 2010, 8:20 PM
Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
To Be Continued Brass Band, students and striking workers (Rusty Costanza, The Times-Picayune)

Low-wage food service workers at Tulane University staged a one-day strike Thursday against their employer, Sodexo, USA.

Food service workers march on the Tulane University campus on Thursday. About 30 people in anti-Sodexo T-shirts, accompanied by a similar number of student allies, emerged during the lunch hour from the Episcopal Chapel of the Holy Spirit near the Tulane campus and paraded down Freret Street behind a brass band, denouncing Sodexo and asking for better wages.

Read the full article

Tulane Cafeteria Workers Strike to Protest Poverty Wages, Unaffordable Benefits, and Unfair Labor Practices

ABC26 News

October 7, 2010
Tulane Cafeteria Workers Strike to Protest Poverty Wages, Unaffordable Benefits, and Unfair Labor Practices
NEW ORLEANS – Food service workers at Tulane University walked off the job at 6:00 AM this morning to showcase their outrage over the unfair labor practices of their employer, the French outsourcing giant Sodexo.
Read the full article.

Tulane Cafeteria Workers March For Better Pay
Students Join Employees In Sodexo Protest

NEW ORLEANS — Food service workers at Tulane University held a rally on Thursday, protesting their pay and retirement benefits.

Read the full article.

Also, here is a link to an opinion column in the Loyola Maroon by Delisa Taylor, who works at Loyola’s C-Store under Sodexo.

Second Line for A Better Tulane!

Thursday at noon in the pocket park next the LBC we will be kicking off a second line for worker’s rights! If you play, bring your instruments and jam along. We will march through campus raising awareness about the unacceptable way workers have been treated on our campus!

An Opportunity to Hear the Truth

On Thursday, September 30th at 5:30pm, workers from both Tulane and Loyola will share their stories about the abuses they have faced working for Sodexo on our campuses. This is an opportunity to hear the truth first-hand, and also to voice your own opinions and have a discussion with other students and employees.

The event will be in Multimedia Room 2 of Loyola’s Monroe Library. Here is a map of Loyla’s campus.

Informational Flyer and Directions to Monroe Library

And this time, the event will not be at the same time as a Saints game!

Panel of Workers to Discuss Tulane Labor Conditions – Monday, 09/20/2010

A panel of workers will be discussing labor conditions on Monday, September 20th at 8 p.m. in room 208 of the LBC. This is an excellent opportunity to hear first hand what goes on behind the scenes at Bruff and the LBC food court, and why so many people who work there are upset about it. Four or five workers will tell their stories and answer questions from you. Hope to see you there!

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