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The Occupation of The New School Cafeteria Continues

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Greetings from The Occupied New School Cafeteria. The struggle for fair, safe and equitable conditions for workers at the university, and in our communities continues.

The occupation of the New School cafeteria continues into its fourteenth day of continuous occupation on the second floor of the New School University Center. On May 10, UniteHERE 100 and the New School administration signed an agreement establishing the conditions of future bargaining, and promising the cafeteria workers employment with the New School when their current contract ends. While the cafeteria workers consented to this agreement, and although it does address critical matters for which they are bargaining, this is not the contract that the workers demanded.  The agreement covers the time between the expiring Chartwells contract and another contract—yet to be drafted or signed by the cafeteria workers—with The New School. This process shifts power back to the administration and UniteHERE representatives, and the agreement leaves cafeteria workers vulnerable.

Two critical demands of cafeteria workers have yet to be acknowledged. These include the removal of Executive Chef Brian DuHart, and the formation of a structure that gives management of the cafeteria to the workers and students in a collective model proposed by both.

Students and workers are united in their demand that Brian DuHart be removed from the New School cafeteria. Multiple workers have reported that Executive Chef DuHart has sexually harassed his employees, and this must not be tolerated. We extend our support to those persons affected and suggest that anyone with similar concerns about DuHart reach out to titleixcoordinator@newschool.edu with your experience. No staff, administrator or student should be exposed to harassment in the workplace and we express dismay that this matter remains unaddressed by the administration. We were told that DuHart was transferred to The New School from his previous place of work following allegations of sexual harassment, and as of this writing The New School has yet to launch an official investigation—rather, they have offered DuHart a raise of $20,000.

We have reports that DuHart uses chicken stock and bacon grease in food labeled vegetarian and vegan. Such practices are unethical, dangerous, and demonstrate a blatant disregard for those who avoid such products from religious or moral conviction, or for reasons of allergies and other health concerns.

Models for democratic workplace organizing with community accountability exist. The New School has been the site of foundational research into workplace democracy, such as that conducted by New School professor Richard Wolff, and this is the perfect site for such innovation.

We call on The New School to create conditions of respect, safety and sustainability in the cafeteria, and across the university. We demand that the administration investigate the allegations against Chef Brian DuHart, and move forward with the creation of a new, democratic structure for the operation of the cafeteria. A major step in this process will be a conversation between workers, the New School community, and Professor Richard Wolff that will take place Monday, May 14th, at 5:00 pm in the occupied cafeteria. All are welcome.

Until these reasonable and necessary demands are met, we remain: occupying the cafeteria, serving meals to our community, and working collectively to re-organize the space into one that reflects the spirit of the University in Exile—a history that administrators freely advertise, and consistently undercut.

*****

Worker-Student Solidarity RALLY

JOIN US FOR A NOON RALLY AT THE NEW SCHOOL UNIVERSITY CENTER, 63 5TH AVE, TO CALL ON THE NEW SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF THE CAFETERIA WORKERS

On May 1st, members of The New School Communist Student Group called for an occupation of the University Center cafeteria in response to the mass layoff of the cafeteria workers. These workers, all of whom are people of color, many of whom are women, will lose their jobs, their pensions and their benefits.

The Communist Students dared to struggle when the union told the workers to reapply and pray they would be one of the few to be rehired.

They refused to leave without a fight. We will occupy the cafeteria until ALL the demands are met by the administration:
1. Every Job Saved
2. Higher Wages
3. Same Benefits
4. Tuition Vouchers
5. Resignation of New School treasurer Steve Stabile
6. Worker-Student control of the cafeteria

We the students at The New School stand in solidarity with the cafeteria workers. The greedy administration will not commit to the demands of the workers and instead makes flimsy promises in attempt to save face. We will fight against this exploitative, white supremacist and patriarchal institution until EVERY DEMAND is met.

We will be holding a picket outside the University Center while continuing the third day of the occupation. Stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the workers to show the greedy New School administration just how powerful we can be when we UNITE in SOLIDARITY.
ALL CONTINGENCIES CONCERNED WITH THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS UNITE! JOIN US IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE RULING CLASS.

ALL OF US OR NONE. EVERY SINGLE JOB.

How to Help

The cafeteria on the second floor of the University Center has been occupied since 11:30AM on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018.
 
What can you do?
 
1. Join us! The cafeteria is on the second floor of the University Center. Even if you can’t be here for the long haul, offer to stay for even an hour or two so that someone who’s been here forever can take a break/go to work/etc.
 
2. Teach your class or host your event at the cafeteria today and for the duration of the occupation. We have already hosted two classes and welcome anyone who would like to hold a class anywhere in the vicinity.
 
3. Forward this message to your students and excuse them from class so that they may join the occupation
 
4. Venmo donations for food and supplies to Solidarity-4-Ever to sustain our student/worker occupiers
5. Bring yoga mats, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, mattresses, snacks, fruit, vegetables, extension cords, tampons, board games, video games, and anything you’d want if you were trapped in a box with 100 teenagers to the cafeteria at any time
6. Follow along at the New New School Cafeteria website or on twitter or facebook and keep up with #occupytns and #allofusornone #occupythecaf
7. Forward this email to a friend (or fifty).
Solidarity Forever,
The Occupying Workers and Students

Class is in session

Bring your class! Bring your professor! Excuse your students while they occupy! We have plenty of space for all, and there’s no better place to learn.

 

Dear Professor ______,

Today during class, I would like to stand in solidarity with the cafeteria workers at the New School University Center, who are experiencing massive layoffs as the administration looks to cut costs by replacing union workers with non-union student labor.

The occupiers have requested that we hold classes in the occupied cafeteria on the second floor of the University Center. I’ve been informed that there is plenty of space in the dining area for large classes to meet, and smaller sections can even meet directly inside the occupied service area.

If you would still like to use our regularly scheduled classroom, please consider excusing the absences of students who choose to remain in the occupation.

In Solidarity,

____

 

Eat the rich…

or, failing that, eat with us in the new worker-student-controlled cafeteria.

we’ll be serving breakfast to the community at 9AM

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