[act-ma] TODAY! 1 PM, PROTEST DISCRIMINATORY LAYOFFS @ HARVARD UNIVERSITY!

Geoff Carens geoff.carens at gmail.com
Thu May 30 04:13:51 PDT 2013


Dear Everyone,

Please join campus workers and our allies today as we fight racism and
unfair terminations at Harvard! We'll meet at 1 pm at 1350 Mass. Ave.
(Harvard's Holyoke Center), across the street from the Harvard MBTA stop &
next to Au Bon Pain.

Union members Sarah and Darlene have 16 and 25 years' service respectively.
They were laid off, supposedly for "not meeting productivity expectations."
But statistics provided to the union show that these two African American
women produced even more than white employees in similar positions, who all
stayed employed. Management's racial bias was further revealed by their
demand that Sarah, who grew up speaking English in Cambridge, attend ESL
pronunciation classes (the instructor said her speech was perfectly clear
and she didn't belong in the class). Sarah believes managers thought her
speech was "too black," and understandably feels "insulted." Darlene was
told to present a letter from her doctor clearing her to return to work
after she took a disability leave. When her doctor cleared her and she
returned to work bearing the letter, her supervisor replied, "What are
*you*doing here?" and insisted she leave the office. Rather than
allowing her to
resume her employment, the boss laid Darlene off instead. Harvard's
treatment of Sarah and Darlene has resulted in charges of racial
discrimination and discrimination on the basis of disability.

Similarly, Paul has faced discrimination because he needed surgery and took
time off from his job. With 31 years' experience, Paul's position was made
"essential and critical" by managers in October. He has always worked hard,
and made every effort to come back to work as soon as he was able after a
recent operation. Less than a month after he resumed working in Harvard's
Science Center, management informed him that there supposedly wasn't enough
for him to do to justify his newly-"essential" position, and that he would
be terminated. Paul and his supporters believe he is being pushed out
merely because he had surgery and took an approved disability leave. His
job duties have simply been divvied up among other staff members.

Please join us today as we demand justice --and reinstatement! -- for
Sarah, Darlene and Paul.

In Solidarity,

Geoff Carens, Union Rep, Harvard Union of Clerical & Technical Workers
(HUCTW)
Delegate, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
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