Brandeis Activism Archive: 2000-2006

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    During this time, students mobilized unprecedented numbers in an attempt to boycott Kraft products in the dining halls as a result of Philip Morris's unethical business practices in the third world. The Brandeis Labor Coalition was founded and embarked on a successful parity campaign to end the several dollar per hour wage gap between custodial workers hired through the school and through a contracting company, Hurley of America.
  • "Making a Killing" Movie Release

    "Making a Killing" Movie Release
    The movie "Making a Killing: Philip Morris, Kraft and Global Tobacco Addiction" was released on this date. It was shown on campus in Spring 2001, and inspired campus activists to begin planning a boycott of Kraft products on campus.
  • "Save the World"Coffee House

    "Save the World"Coffee House
    Andrew Slack and other members of "The Late Night Players" performed at a "Save the World" Coffee House on campus. The troupe made rerefence to the campaign in their skits to raise awareness.
    Later, Slack did a reading of Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" to show the importance of change and trying something new.
  • Students for a Just Society Involved

    Students for a Just Society Involved
    On this date, the Kraft/Phillip Morris issues were brought to the attention of an activism group on campus: Students for a Just Society. They began discussion of how to be involved that continued throughout that Summer.
  • Harvard Janitors ask for pay Parity

    Harvard Janitors ask for pay Parity
    Not far from Brandeis, protests over janitors' wages were taking place. Around the 18th of December, students begin to ask that there be a "wage floor" for their janitors. All of the attention to the issue gets Brandeis students interested in the treatment of staff at their University.
  • Email Campaign

    Email Campaign
    Andrew Slack (Founder of SJS) begins his campaign against Kraft/Philip Morris by asking SJS member to write an email or a letter to Brandeis' Newspaper "The Justice" about the Kraft issue
  • Educational Forum in Usdan

    Educational Forum in Usdan
    SJS sponsors an educational Forum in the Usdan Student Center, which at the time was one of the big centers of student life at Brandeis.
    They invited Emily Breen, a representative from Infact and Peggy Kasha from Philip Morris to attend. Breen was there, however Kasha was unable to attend due to a "scheduling conflict."
  • SJS Officially Endorses Kraft Referendum

    SJS Officially Endorses Kraft Referendum
    Though SJS was supposed to encourage discussions about social justice on campus, they decided that they should take a stance on the Kraft issue. On this date, the members of SJS decided to throw their support behind the referendum and officially endorse the vote to ban Kraft products.
  • Kraft Referendum Vote

    Kraft Referendum Vote
    The referendum to boycott Kraft products in the dining halls is put to a vote. Although more people vote than in any other Student Union vote before or since (as of 2012), the boycott loses by 21 votes.
  • Brandeis Members sent to Philip Morris Convention

    Brandeis Members sent to Philip Morris Convention
    Ben Brandzel '03 and Andrew Slack '02 were asked by Infact to attend the Philip Morris shareholders' convention.
  • Tabling/Petitions

    Students in Activist Resource Center (ARC) decide to begin tabling outside Usdan and walking around campus handing out living wage petitions for workers.
  • Campaign for Janitor's Wages begins at Brandeis

    Campaign for Janitor's Wages begins at Brandeis
    A Teach-in for Economic justice took place that many Brandeis Students attended to learn more and raise awareness about the issue.
    In addition, students were encouraged to call/email Hurley of America, a subcontractor that employed 25 Brandeis Janitors, and tell them that they believe the janitors should have affordable health
    care, full-time work and a living wage.
  • Brandeis Workers Rally

    Brandeis Workers Rally
    After going on strike, a rally occurs at a local Shell station. Brandeis students were encouraged to attend and show their support for the janitors.
  • City Wide University Rally

    City Wide University Rally
    There was a city-wide unviersity rally at the Boylston T stop where all the universities in Boston got together to protest for livable wages for janitors in the Boston area.
  • Brandeis Workers Strike

    Brandeis Workers Strike
    Brandeis workers who have contracts covered by SEIU voted to go on strike.
  • Termination of 5 Brandeis Employees

    When 5 Brandeis custodians were fired from the University it was a huge turning point for the campaign. Students got extremely fired0up and even more passionate about the cause.
  • Student March for Workers Rights

    Student March for Workers Rights
    On December 10th, 5000 workers marched through the streets of Boston to demand the right to organize for ALL workers. Members of BLC and ARC were encouraged to march under the Student Labor Action Project banner.
  • BLC Seeks Administration's Help

    BLC Seeks Administration's Help
    The students meet with the administration about taking a larger role in the fight for pay parity. The administration seems somewhat defeatist when saying that they can only urge Hurley to provide fair treatment. Student activists hope that later they can get the administration to take a more active role.
  • Senate Supports Labor Campaign

    Senate Supports Labor Campaign
    The Student Union passes a resolution and officially backs up the aims of the BLC. As a representation of the student body, the senate's support sends a message to the administration that the students are really behind this cause.
  • BLC Teach In

    BLC Teach In
    The Brandeis Labor Coalition hosts a teach-in to discuss the labor movement. They had Brandeis workers, students, labor advocates and union organizers as speakers.
  • Worker Appreciation Barbeque

    Worker Appreciation Barbeque
    In a effort to show their appreciation for and get to know better the workers at Brandeis, the Brandeis Labor Coalition hosted their first annual worker appreciation barbeque.
  • Workers Rights Consortium

    Workers Rights Consortium
    The Brandeis Labor Coalition brings a representative from the Workers Rights Consortium to hold and info session at Brandeis.
  • Let the Negotiations begin!

    Let the Negotiations begin!
    Negotiations between the SEIU Local 615 and the Brandeis administration begin.
  • Brandeis creates new contracts

    Brandeis creates new contracts
    Brandeis agrees to new five year contract to directly hire night shift workers, rather than employing them through a subcontractor,
  • Pay Parity!

    Pay Parity!
    Brandeis University adds 22 custodians to payroll, finally ending outsourced-pay disparity.