Harvard University has an endowment of $35 billion and employs 47 Nobel laureates. But they weren’t rich or smart enough to pay their dining hall workers enough money to stop them from going on strike this morning.
Harvard’s academic resources must not extend into the realm of PR. If they did, someone could have told the school that no matter what happens, they will lose this PR battle, for the following reason: They are Harvard, and they have $35 billion, and the workers who serve food to fucking Harvard kids for a living (contemplate the reality of this job) just walked out because you refuse to give them what they are asking for, which, according to their union, is “affordable health care and sustainable incomes of at least $35,000 a year,” and the ability to work for the whole year.
And so, as of right now, you have 600 or so Harvard dining services workers on strike at Harvard. I sure was not smart enough to attend Harvard, but I will now—for free—tell Harvard administrators exactly what is going to happen:
- Harvard students will support the strikers.
- The Harvard administration will look like greedy shits.
- There will be lots of news stories contrasting the fact that Harvard has a $35 billion endowment with the fact that workers are asking for a minimum salary equal to one-one millionth of that amount.
- Eventually the administration will be forced to strike a compromise favorable to the workers because they have much more to lose, particularly in the form of reputational value.
This could have all been avoided by paying these workers—who, again, must serve food to fucking Harvard kids for a living, if you can imagine such a fate—their relatively modest wage demand and providing them with affordable health care. Can Harvard fucking University make a credible argument that they cannot afford this? No, they cannot, for the same reason that billionaires cannot pay their maids minimum wage. Pay up.