Lift campus wages!

From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011:

Lift campus wages!

Memphis, Tenn.–On April 8, over 75 students, faculty, and staff members of the University of Memphis came out in support of a living wage for campus workers. Some workers have been employed at the university for more than 15 years, and they have not seen a raise in over four years.

The custodial staff only makes $8.00 an hour! Almost all of the cleaning staff has to work an extra job on the weekends to live just above the poverty line. Workers have no free parking and have to walk several blocks at 3:30 AM with no security protection. Workers have to stay late for events, and are often cleaning in unlocked buildings late into the night.

Despite the fear of retribution and losing their jobs, almost 20 workers were present at the vigil. Professors, students, and workers gave speeches and delivered 1,221 postcards to the University President asking for a raise to $11.62 an hour. The President agreed to meet with the Progressive Student Alliance at a later date.

–Mario Zuluaga

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