Sit-in at Washington University, St. Louis enters ninth day

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Thirteen students demanding a living wage and increased benefits for workers of Washington University in St. Louis, have entered the ninth day of a sit-in at the school's administrative offices. Also, adding to pressure mounting on university officials, 15 additional students began a hunger strike last night.

The protesting students seek a living wage of at least $9.79 and more benefits for the University's contract workers.

Yesterday, the administration agreed to commit $500,000 toward a benefit and wage package, but student organizers insist that the university will need to spend about $2.4 million annually to raise employee wages above the poverty line. Currently non-union workers make $8 per hour.

Last month a hunger strike at Georgetown University led to a compromise between a student coalition and the administration increasing wages and benefits.