Photo by Sharon Roth
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, HDH and striking 64 degrees employees finally reached a settlement last Thursday. Student employees have had mixed reactions, with some saying the negotiations resulted in fruitful change in working conditions. Others, including third-year 64 employee and student activist Nott Trooue, are not satisfied with the settlement. “None of the HDH administration actually paid attention to our concerns,” said Trooue. “If I remember correctly, when we explained that we needed more training and more career supervision to prevent further student injuries, one of the representatives laughed at me and said ‘You think we have the funds to care about students’ livelihoods? Think again.’ Pardon my French, but that shit is scuffed as hell.”
In addition to what HDH posits are “generous improvements which you foolish underlings should be grateful for,” the administration offered their “plumpest, most fit” turkey for the student employees as a restitution. A spokesperson for HDH elaborated on the settlement: “It’s really a very generous offer; anything but an empty gesture of gratitude for our students’ dedication. We want them to learn that no matter how hard they lobby for better, fairer working conditions, big business will always make sure they feel the repercussions. By doing this, we’re getting them ready for the real world: making sure they understand that they should be glad to still have their jobs. When problems arise, just shut up and stay in your lane.” The spokesperson pointed two fingers towards their eyes and then out at the audience to signal they were watching. Many reporters at the press conference nodded, seeming to agree with the fairness of the assessment.
Another student leader, Rue More, offered additional commentary on the settlement. “We hardly struck out—this was more of a split. I was forced to choose between keeping my job and doing what was best for all of us, and at the end of the day, I still need to pay my tuition … I feel bad about it but I shouldn’t. It’s not my fault.”
In anticipation of November Thanksgiving dining hall specials, some student employees remain resolute. “We’re going to be absolutely miserable,” said Trooue. “Morale is already in the gutter, we already ate the turkey, and many of us are so overworked that we aren’t off during dining hall hours. So many of us are going hungry. I feel pinned between a rock and a hard place trying to advocate for all of us, knowing that HDH won’t recognize our efforts. But we will persist, even though we have no manpower or turkey to spare.”
Kaz Nuckowski is a Copy Editor for the Muir Quarterly. They are usually found in Half Dome laughing and encouraging students to share their wit or giving their own suggestions to make everyone else laugh. Never doubt Kaz and their skills because they will surprise you, especially when the spread has a comic open and they are feeling inspired!