Thursday, March 31, 2011

UPenn Student Labor Action Project wins on HEI Workers Rising campaign!

I don't want to brag or anything, but we have some pretty fabulous Student Labor Action Projects (SLAPs) here in Philly. First, our SLAP chapter over at Temple University was recognized as SLAP Chapter of the Year down at United States Students Association's Legislative Convention earlier in March. Now, after years of work and coordination with Unite HERE!, UPenn SLAP has just come out victorious in their campaign to get the University of Pennsylvania to divest from HEI Management, a viciously anti-union hotel management company.

Here's the official statement from UPenn's Executive Vice President:

"Over the past three years, University representatives and I have met several times with student leaders from the Penn chapter of the Student Labor Action Project ( SLAP ). A joint initiative of Jobs with Justice and the United States Student Association, SLAP is working to persuade investors in HEI Hotels ( a privately held hotel management company specializing in under-managed U.S. urban business hotels and resort properties ) to divest from the company in protest of what SLAP describes as unlawful anti-organizing practices and unfair working conditions for employees at HEI properties. Subsequently, Penn’s SLAP chapter, and other chapters nationally, have requested universities pledge publicly not to reinvest in HEI-sponsored funds.

In 2004, Penn participated, along with other endowments and institutional investors, as a limited partner in HEI’s first fund. Penn has not participated in two subsequent funds. Due to confidentiality restrictions, the University does not as a general rule comment on its private investments. However in 2008, four years after Penn's participation, its investment was publicly disclosed, as one of several institutional endowment investors, by a representative of HEI during a company presentation. Shortly thereafter, the Penn chapter of SLAP, as with groups similarly organized on other campuses, raised concerns about HEI’s treatment of its labor force and argued that it was denying workers the right to organize a union. [...]

To clarify Penn’s position: The University has no plans to make future investments in HEI-sponsored funds. Any future consideration of an investment would take into account all relevant circumstances at that time.

SLAP is a joint project between Jobs with Justice and United States Student Association, so you can see why we're feeling pretty proud. - Press Release Distribution

No comments:

Post a Comment