Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hunger Strike Update: We Are Hungry (for JUSTICE)

Good friends,
I wanted to post and give you all and update on how our hunger strike and protest against HEI is going. Yes, we are hungry, but more than that, we are convinced more than ever that HEI is a company that Notre Dame should not be supporting with its endowment funds. Many people have told us that they are worried about our health, and we’d like to direct that feeling of concern and compassion toward the workers in HEI hotels who suffer unreasonable workloads, physical and emotional pain, disrespect, intimidation, and poverty wages on the job every day. Our five days of discomfort is nothing compared to the day to day life of a low wage HEI employee.
In addition, thanks so much for the support! Many students, staff, professors, and community members have stopped by to offer encouragement. There are also a number of different universities involved in the HEI campaign fasting in solidarity with us different days, so we’d like to give a special thanks to those students –you guys are allstars! The picture to the left is of some friends from U Chicago also engaged in the HEI fight on their campus who joined us today in solidarity.

Finally, the last three evenings we have skyped with over 20 HEI employees in San Francisco and Long Beach, California and in Crystal City, Virginia. They offered so much encouragement, and the workers debunked the myth that the investment office continues to spread that HEI is a “good company” with a “great record.” They told stories of intimidation, harassment, and disrespect. Despite what the university claims, there are workers’ rights being violated, and HEI is NOT an upstanding company. The testimony of HEI workers is extremely valuable and should be enough to raise concerns about practices of HEI as a company (not to mention the NLRB complaint, housekeeper letter, and injury survey done by the Journal of Industrial Medicine in 2009 that found that hotel housekeepers suffer a rate of injuries 25% higher than any other service industry job).

Thanks again to everyone who has been out on the quad with us or stopped by; you are great. Everyone should come out and
JOIN THE FIGHT: Tomorrow at 5PM on God Quad under the golden dome, we will hold a rally and a mass to break the fast and call on Notre Dame to take concrete action against the unjust labor practices of HEI. Let's show our administration that we support workers’ rights, and we believe in ethical investment!!
And if you haven’t yet, sign the petition to support HEI workers. Que siga la lucha!


Sarah Furman said...

so many good words, Liz.

Friends, we cannot stress enough the importance of being a physical presence tomorrow at the rally. There is so much power in numbers, and I have a desire to scare the pants off the administration with the number of people attending =)

and thanks for all your support throughout the week!

Bill said...

Glad to see you guys are still alive! I never thought I'd live to see a hunger strike at ND. I have trouble forming complete sentences if I skip dinner.

ShamRockNRoll said...

Were I going to be in town tomorrow, I would absolutely be there! I am so proud of you guys! If you want to get a lot of people you need to facebook the shit out of everyone... don't rely on just event "attendees". Facebook, email, call/text, etc. And contact any supportive faculty and staff to help spread the word!