Monday, April 25, 2005

Kids these days

They gave everything to solve our problems before they [graduated], by the grace of God. Without them, we would have gotten nothing.
--Silvia Garcia, cleaner at Georgetown University
How Cool is That? Item #4

Last month during Holy Week, while the rest of the country worked themselves into hysterics over Terry Schiavo's "starvation," a group of students at Georgetown University held a nine-day hunger strike to pressure the Jesuit college into providing a living wage to all of its contract workers. By gum, it worked. Now the people employed in housekeeping, food service, and security will earn $13/hour beginning in July, going up to $14 in 2007.

The deal also includes a guarantee for workers' right to organize without intimidation and offers new benefits, such as English as a Second Language classes and university transportation shuttles.

The wage hike will allow many of the workers to give up their second or third jobs and spend more time with their families, not to mention doing wacky, self-indulgent things like paying the rent and buying groceries.

Georgetown is a sworn enemy to both my alma maters, but I gotta raise a toast to those Hoyas. Ya done good, kids.


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Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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