We organized, we occupied and we even got arrested in our Presidents’ offices to win some incredible victories this Spring!
In February, we came together in Wisconsin to celebrate15 amazing years of student and worker solidarity. Like hundreds of other students, I left the National Conferencefired up and ready to fight back against corporate attacks on workers on my campus. It’s only been four months since Madison, but we’ve already won some impressive victories that have built student and worker power across the country:
- Over 1,000 campus workers won unions. USAS activists campaigned alongside adjunct professors at American University, Aramark workers at Western Washington University, and Chartwells workers at Northeastern University – one of the biggest group of campus food service workers to win a union in the past five years!
- We got the first University to demand apparel corporations finally end the race to the bottom. After the U.S. Department of Justice trumped apparel companies and announced that the Designated Suppliers Program does not violate anti-trust law, Rutgers became the first school to agree to implement the DSP and finally force brands like Nike and adidas to source long-term from unionized, living wage factories.
- Princeton, Dartmouth, and Harvard said ‘no’ to sweatshop hotels. Students stood with hotel workers organizing across the country and won commitments from their schools not to invest in union-busting hotel chain HEI.
- We took on Wall St banks on campus. In Minneapolis and New York City, students launched innovative new campaigns to fight foreclosures by demanding their Universities sever their lucrative relationships with Wall St banks, who are destroying working class communities and pushing families out of their homes
- We trained nearly 1,000 student leaders in strategic campaigning and direct action organizing. At the height of Occupy Wall Street, we pioneered four “Fight Back! Organizer Bootcamps” to equip students with the tools and skills they need to organize their peers and win campaigns on campus for economic and social justice.
Just because school’s out for the summer, that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down. We’re joining together with our allies in Germany, Spain and the UK to demand Olympics sponsor adidas pay thousands of their former unionized workers in Indonesia the $1.8 million they’ve been owed since last summer. And this week, I was one of 11 USAS leaders that took off to spend my summer building USAS’s relationships with garment worker unions all around the world, from Bangladesh to Nicaragua.
With Love and Solidarity,
Casey Sweeney, Cornell University & USAS National Coordinating Committee