For the past several weeks, students protests over the poor treatment and poor compensation of Faculty House workers have been ongoing. The administration hasn’t acted yet, but more and more members of faculty have spoken out in support of the protesters. On Friday, Student Worker Solidarity held a rally on college walk and famous American historian Eric Foner joined in and these are his words of wisdom:
Here’s a transcription of his remarks:
I should also say that a great number of faculty are outraged at the way that the workers of Faculty House are being treated. I have been at Columbia for about 30 years, and I’ve seen many struggles like this. Unfortunately, it’s in the DNA of the administration that they always seem to take the wrong position when it comes to labor issues. There have been a lot of such struggles, and in every one that was successful, student support and faculty support was crucial.
Cafeteria workers organizing, security guards organizing, secretaries and clerical workers organizing—every single one of those cases was opposed by the administration, and yet won in the end. Their own struggle was the most important thing, but the support of people in the community is tremendous, so I just want to say: Congratulations to you and keep up the good work. There’s a lot of faculty who are also behind you and behind the workers, and I’m sure this struggle will also come out victorious.