Mar. 28, 2005 – After years of organizing and agitating that culminated in a nine-day hunger strike, students at Georgetown University won higher wages for the contract janitors, food workers and security personnel at their school. Late last Wednesday night, school administrators caved to almost all of the demands from the Georgetown Living Wage Coalition, including significant raises for the lowest-paid workers on campus; access to English as a Second Language courses, the library, and campus shuttles; and the right to unionize without intimidation.
Though the new pay will not be as high as the $15 an hour first demanded for the workers by the students, the administration set a schedule to raise the minimum hourly wage on campus from $11.33 to $14 by 2007. Students involved in the campaign stressed that their activism was not just about increasing pay for workers, but about changing the universityâ€™s labor policies more generally to foster a more supportive atmosphere for workers and put pressure on companies that contract with the university to change their labor practices.
Approximately 20 students participated in the hunger strike; at least two were hospitalized.