New River Workers Power resolutely stands with cafeteria workers and the supporting student body at The New School as they occupy and struggle against the school administration’s mass layoffs. Loyal and dedicated cafeteria workers have been told by The New School administration that they will all be fired so the administration can cut pay and benefits to these same school workers who are close to retirement.

The New School cafeteria workers and supporting student body have released the following statement which includes their demands:

This morning, The New School Communist Student Group (CSG) led a student occupation that shut down The New School cafeteria. Students are protesting the university’s decision to lay off the entire cafeteria workforce. Up to 50 cafeteria workers will lose their jobs, some of whom have worked in the school’s cafeteria for 16 years. The workers will lose their pensions, health care and certainty about the future. One third of the workers are over 50 years old and were counting on retiring from this job. At a mass meeting Friday, April 27 attended by roughly 50 people and organized by CSG, workers called on students to shut down the cafeteria with an occupation on May First–International Workers’ Day.

The demands:

–Every single worker rehired,
–A wage increase with the same benefits (pension and health care),
–Education vouchers for the workers and their families,
–Worker and student control of the cafeteria, and
–The resignation of Steve Stabile, VP of finance and business and treasurer, who is personally responsible for the mass layoff.”

The New School administration has committed an unconscionable act that workers everywhere must stand against. Mass layoffs are not just a one-off event that comes and goes, but has lasting impacts on the workers directly effected as well as the communities where workers live. Layoffs are a means through which capitalists shed costs and recuperate financial losses as a result of their mismanagment, and it’s always at the expense of workers. A laid off worker is more likely to suffer a 20% reduction in pay and benefits for years following a layoff. Our elder workers are hardest hit by these mass layoffs while they cause a spill over effect into our communities, triggering waves of job losses throughout local economies for years.

These facts highlight that the struggle of these school workers are not just their own, but ours as well. Stopping mass layoffs keeps our communities healthy. We ask workers and allies everywhere to support this occupation by calling The New School administrators and tell them they must meet the demands of The New School cafeteria workers and the supporting student body:

  1.  Maya Wiley, Senior Vice President for Social Justice at 212-229-5400 x3905
  2. Amy Malsin, Senior Director for Communications and Public Affairs at 212-229-5667 x3094
  3. The Office of Marketing and Communications at 212-229-5151

For more updates on this important struggle please follow the New School Communist Student Group

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