Dining

Bracing for a Strike, Harvard Students Are Stockpiling Food

Dining hall employees plan to walk out tonight
Annenberg Hall at Harvard University
Photo: Shraddha Gupta/Harvard Staff Photographer

Students at Harvard are stockpiling food that’s been stealthily (or not so stealthily) removed from the dining halls—apples and Tupperware containers are being slipped into backpacks and then stored in dorm rooms. They are preparing for a potential strike by the staff who operate the dining halls, which is slated to start tonight.

School paper The Crimson has even offered up a survival guide with tips like: “You must forage for provisions in advance. To properly stock up, enter the dhall on Monday with a savage mindset, and proceed with your overt theft like nobody's watching. With Tupperware poised, confidently ladle oatmeal, chili, and chowder.”

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The union, which represents 750 people, has said they will walk out after a long and unsuccessful contract negotiation, the Washington Post reports. The last contract, which includes a no-strike clause, ended September 17. The union is pushing the school to provide year-round employment and to completely cover health insurance costs for employees.

The dean of students, Katherine G. O’Dair, sent an email to students explaining: “In the event that information needs to be shared regarding changes to your dining service, the College will immediately communicate those details with you through email.”

Meanwhile, the school is bracing for the strike by loading up on frozen foods like soups, mac and cheese and stuffed peppers. No word yet if the university has invested in loads of microwaves for reheating.

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