On November 10, 2010, the Greater New Haven Labor History Association and UNITE HERE Locals 34, 35 and GESO hosted “We are the Union: Celebrating Labor History at Yale” from 5:30 to 7 pm at Yale University’s Linsly-Chittenden Hall. Yale Labor History Professor Jennifer Klein presented opening remarks, followed by Bill Berndtson of the Labor History Association board, Maureen Jones of Local 34, Frank Douglas of Local 35, and Sarah Eagan of GESO.
Over one hundred Yale students, workers and community members commemorated the anniversary of Yale workers' first union effort, learned about the long history of labor struggles and victories at New Haven's largest employer, posted memories to an over-sized time line of Yale's labor history, and heard personal testimonies from union members about their impact on our community.
The event took place on the 69th anniversary of the first union strike at Yale.
Click here to read about the event in the Yale Daily News.
The Federation of University Employees, in affiliation with UNITE HERE, represents workers at Yale University in three organizations. Local 34 represents more than 3400 clerical and technical employees at Yale. Local 35 is the union of over 1200 service and maintenance workers at Yale. GESO, the Graduate Employees and Students Organization, work to improve the working conditions and benefits for graduate students and employees at Yale, while seeking formal union recognition from the University.
UNITE HERE represents workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in the hospitality, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, laundry and airport industries. UNITE HERE boasts a diverse membership, comprising workers from many immigrant communities as well as high percentages of African-America, Latino and Asian-American workers. The majority of UNITE HERE members are women.
Through organizing, UNITE HERE members have made apparel jobs in the South, hotel housekeeping jobs in cities across North America, and hundreds of thousands of other traditionally low-wage jobs into good, family-sustaining, middle-class jobs.