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Campus worker profile: Week 8

The Campus Workers’ Rights Coalition and members of CSRE35SI: An Introduction to Labor Organizing have put together a series of profiles drawn from both archival and current interviews with workers on campus to highlight both the struggles that workers at Stanford face and the resilience that they bring to the work they do. Campus workers often have to deal with chronic understaffing and difficult menial labor. Alongside this, Stanford does not pay its workers a living wage despite the rising costs of food, health, and housing in the Bay, and workers must often cover many of their own health costs because of a lack of insurance benefits while managing hours-long commutes due to a dearth of affordable housing.

Both the Campus Workers’ Rights Coalition and the members of CSRE35SI believe that students can play a powerful role in supporting the rights of workers on campus. This is an especially pivotal time for students to get involved, since workers represented by SEIU Local 2007, a labor union on campus, will have their current contract expire this summer. This means that SEIU Local 2007 and Stanford will enter contract negotiations and hopefully finalize a new contract that addresses workers’ needs. You can sign a petition to support the union in securing a fair contract here.

SEIU 2007 is one out of a few unions on campus, and this series features workers represented by USWW or SEIU 2007. We present both because there are many shared experiences between them. This the seventh in the series.

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Anonymous has worked as a janitor at Stanford for the past 25 years. Her daily routine starts at 5 a.m. when she begins the first of two jobs and doesn’t end until she finishes her second at 11 p.m. She hopes to receive a higher salary to be able to work one job rather than two. With a higher wage, she would be able to help her mom at home and spend time with her own children and family.

Another worker, who would also like to remain anonymous, has worked as a janitor for Stanford for the past 15 years. She likes that she does her job well, and loves her work because it allows her to live. She hopes to see better health insurance coverage, paid vacation time and an increased salary for workers.

Contact Campus Workers’ Rights Coalition at stanfordworkersrights ‘at’ gmail.com.

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