The janitors' strike against the University of Miami, targeting President Donna Shalala, continues:
A handful of University of Miami students were on the eighth day of a hunger strike Wednesday in support of campus janitors striking over alleged unfair labor practices, and threatened to continue protesting until the university met their demands for the workers.
The four students joined about 30 others protesting outside an administration building to press for a meeting with university President Donna Shalala regarding the janitors and other campus workers employed by Unicco Service Co., who have been on strike since early March.
Actually, the janitors started the hunger strike first, and then students and other allies joined in solidarity, blasting Shalala's role:
The janitors have been on a hunger strike for 13 days, the students for 6 - all part of a labor dispute that has turned unusually personal, with faculty members, students, union leaders and members of the clergy sharply criticizing Dr. Shalala.
Day after day, the janitors and their supporters heap invective on Dr. Shalala, who was President Bill Clinton's secretary for health and human services, saying she has not done enough to pressure the university's cleaning contractor to grant union recognition.
And day after day the hunger strikers grow weaker as they lie in tents set up in a protest zone they call Freedom Village.
"If you think of Donna Shalala's history, she has this persona of being an advocate for poor, marginalized people in this country," said Frank Corbishley, the university's Episcopal chaplain. "In this dispute she's clearly been an enemy of the working poor."