A Fall Semester Full of Action for Student Labor Action Project

by Maria F. Escobar

During these hard economic times, it imperative that we as students continue working and fighting in our universities for workers’ rights and educational access for all.

With ongoing budget cuts, we have seen students coming together with local labor unions in the fight against the corporatizations of our universities and the right to an education for all. Here at the national level we are excited to see all the amazing work students are doing fighting budget cuts such as the student, faculty and staff walkouts in the University of California system and the many other actions across the country.

We hope that the semester continues bringing students and workers together in the fight for justice in our universities and communities and changing our world one fight at a time.


SLAP at University of Central Florida

Students held a panel event titled “The future of Employment” which dealt with the future of young workers and the need for unions.

SLAP at Temple University

Students and community members held a rally “Welcoming Change” at the Museum of Art supporting organizing efforts of security guards.

Boston SLAP

Students at Northeastern University held a panel discussion on issues such as economic recovery for working class people, climate change and immigration policies of the United States. The panel focused these issues and its connection to the G20 events happening in Pittsburgh.

UC Walkouts

By Kortney McBride
Community and Labor Liaison for Board of Directors, United States Student Association

On September 24th, thousands of students, faculty and staff,  at the University of California campuses walked out in protest to system-wide fee hikes, furloughs, and layoffs. These fee hikes, furloughs and layoffs were proposed by the university after the state of California cut over 20% of its funding to the University for the current budget year. If implemented, these changes would dramatically alter the structure of the university, abandoning its mission of offering top quality public education and moving towards a more privatized model. The UC Berkeley campus alone was able to mobilize over 5,000 students, faculty and staff members in protest of these cuts and fee hikes.

September 24th was an exciting day as thousands stood in solidarity on the picket lines, at the rally, and in a march throughout the campus. As a third year student at UC Berkeley I have never seen so many different members of the campus community unite over one single issue. From the apathetic to the politically active, it seemed as though everyone on campus that day was talking about how these proposals will alter the university we love.

While these protests brought a lot of attention to the issue, they are by no means the last and final step in ensuring that the public system is preserved. The walkouts were just one of the first steps in preserving quality and accessible education in California.

Tell Aramark and Sodexo to help stop the “harvest of shame”!

The Student/Farmworker Alliance, in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), is calling on food service industry leaders Aramark and Sodexo to do their part to help end the exploitation of farmworkers in their supply chains!

Add your voice to this call today and send an email to executives at Aramark and Sodexo!

Report back from National Student Labor Week of Action

As we enter the fall semester is good to look back at all the amazing work that happened last year. During the National Student Labor Week of Action which occurred from March 28-April 4. Students from across the country united with workers and demanded justice in their communities.

Follow the link to see the full report back– share it with your group and don’t forget that students across the country are in the same struggles as you are.

Mark your calendars for next years National Student Labor Week of Action from March 28 th to April 4th

JwJ Economic Recovery Week of Action/ Chicago mobilization

From Sept 24 to Oct 1st Jobs with Justice held it Economic Recovery for working people week of action. Check out the jwj blog for a full report back from the week of action.

What’s Next? Chicago and the American Bankers Association

The next step in stopping the bailout bandits and fixing our economy will be three days of protests at the American Bankers Association. JwJ and several union and community partners are calling for three days of actions at the American Bankers Association October 25-27, culminating in massive march on Tuesday, October 27.

Join the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka and Change To Win’s Anna Burger at the rally on Tuesday, October 27, 11am.

Putting thousands of people in the streets is our opportunity to shift public anger onto the real causes of the economic crash.  JwJ can help change the debate back to the real needs of working families and their communities.

This political and economic moment is both the challenge and the opportunity of a lifetime.  What we do in the next three years will shape the next 30.


The United States Student Association has been working tirelessly with students across the country on issues of college access and affordability. USSA amplified the student voice on Capitol Hill by building “Walls of Debt” displaying levels of loan debt on campuses nationwide, participating in national press conferences with federal higher education officials, and organizing educational events around the need for student aid reform. These actions proved to be a success when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act on Thursday September 17 th.  This bill includes the greatest investment in higher education in American history by eliminating government subsidies to banks that offer student loans and puts the tens of billions of dollars in savings into need based, federal financial aid.

The USSA is now working with students and coalition partners to ensure student aid reform is passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Obama before the end of the year.  Student aid reform is critical to mitigate the skyrocketing cost of college and state higher education budget cuts that are plaguing the county’s college campuses.  The USSA also worked in collaboration with the United We DREAM Coalition in hosting a national DREAM Act Day of Action on September 23rd in which over 150 events occurred on college campuses in support of the DREAM Act.  The day made national headlines and showed Congress that students demand the passage of this bill to make education a right for everyone, regardless of residency status.

Check out www.usstudents.org for updates and news on these pieces of legislation

Fight for Health Care Reform on October 20th!

The debate around health care is likely to be at fever pitch on Tuesday October 20 th.  Across the country, activists will come together to demand affordability and access to real health care.  Students and young folks are facing a tighter and tighter job market – we need a strong, affordable public option.

Join supporters of health care reform on October 20 th and plan an event on your campus.  Do a teach-ins, organize a call-ins to legislators, petition other students, or create your own event to be involved in this critical debate.  Materials and resources are available to help organize campus events.  To sign-up, contact Sara Van Moorlehem at SEIU: Sara.VanMoorlehem@seiu.org.

Maria Escobar is national organizer for the Student Labor Action Project


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