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Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI

Group name: WMich Students against Sweatshops Website:
Contact: Christine Dore Email: wmusas(at)
Phone: 269-344-4076 ext. 4

Campaign background: The United Students Against Sweatshops affiliated group started on Western Michigan's campus in the spring of 2004. They started in response to their university privatizing half of the janitorial workforce who had previously been made up of members of the on-campus union, AFSCME local 1668. Contracting (privatization) is the common practice of having work performed by an outside contractor rather than by directly-hired employees. There is a trend of universities contracting out labor to cut costs and evade responsibility for the treatment of the workers. Contracted campus workers are almost always paid significantly less than directly-hired workers. It seems that WMich has plans to continue this privatization all over campus.

The students, workers and the union are demanding that the university pay the newly subcontracted workers a living wage as well as ensure that the workers are receiving other extremely important non-wage benefits.

Campaigns News & Updates:

Apr 5, 2006 - Putting some 'moves' into Western Michigan's Living Wage Campaign - LWAC Tour Update

Apr 5, 2006 - Living Wage protest outside president’s office - "Four police officers from the Western Michigan University Department of Public Safety escorted about 20 WMU students out of the Seibert Administration Building at about 11 a.m. yesterday for staging a protest in support for the Living Wage Campaign..." [read more]
-The Western Herald

Mar 13, 2006 - We want more communication - "A protest in front of Western Michigan University’s Bernhard Center of about 10 students representing the campus’ Living Wage Coalition greeted attendees of the WMU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday..." - Western Herald

Mar 10, 2006 - WMU students push for living wage for university's contract employees - "Calling it the university's moral obligation, a student group has asked Western Michigan University's leaders to institute what it called a living wage for contracted workers..." - Kalamazoo Gazette


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