Sunday, April 15, 2007

press coverage of yesterday's march

from the miami herald


Nova Southeastern University marchers rally for wages, jobs

Protesters interrupted dinner on Las Olas Boulevard on Saturday, calling for better working conditions and higher wages for workers at Nova Southeastern University.


Marching past the al fresco restaurants, galleries and banks on Las Olas Boulevard, about 200 people rallied Saturday to protest conditions for cleaning and maintenance workers at Nova Southeastern University.

''I'm struggling to survive,'' said Fritz Hector, 42, who said he and his wife recently lost their Nova cleaning jobs. ``This is why I'm here today, to get my job back.''

The two-hour rally -- timed to coincide with the peak dinner hour -- aimed to call attention to the plight of workers like Hector and to call for higher wages at the university, whose main campus is in Davie.

NSU workers -- mostly doing cleaning, maintenance and landscaping -- voted last fall to join the Service Employees International Union. Days later, NSU told the contractor that employed the workers, Unicco, that it was rebidding the cleaning contract. It eventually replaced Unicco with several smaller firms, and workers were told to reapply for their jobs.

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from the sun-sentinel

March on Las Olas

Service workers who lost jobs cry, `Shame on Nova!'

By Tonya Alanez
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted April 15 2007

The evening calm on Fort Lauderdale's most famous street was punctured Saturday when hundreds of chanting, clapping marchers paraded down Las Olas Boulevard to demand that service workers who lost their jobs at Nova Southeastern University be reinstated.

Diners, waiters and others stood on the sidewalks to watch the uncommon spectacle of a workers' protest in the heart of the city's most fashionable dining and shopping district. Some onlookers waved and flashed an approving thumbs up to the 300-plus marchers. One female diner shot them a disapproving gesture.

Some patrons of the many outdoor restaurants on Las Olas watched bewildered, wineglasses in hand, unaware of the plight of the 108 Nova janitors and groundskeepers who lost their jobs in February after they sought higher wages and health benefits. Some had been earning $7 an hour with no benefits.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that it is seemingly 5 months after the termination of the contract, are the unemployed workers looking for gainful employment elsewhere? It does not appear that the University is planning to revisit the policy and rehire the terminated workers. At what point do you take a look inward and decide to move on and seek a job that is appreciative of your stated skills and work ethics?