Valarie Long, Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) issued the following statement in support of students engaged in a hunger strike at the University of Virginia:
“The courageous students at the University of Virginia, who are risking their own health to fight for a living wage for workers on their campus, deserve enormous credit for calling attention to this critical issue. Their Living Wage Campaign at the University of Virginia is an inspirational, student-led effort to highlight economic injustice in their own backyard. The students who chose bold action and engaged in a hunger strike deserve our unconditional support and respect.
“All workers in this country deserve a living wage that can support a family and help them plan for a secure retirement. Right now, the lowest paid workers at UVA are earning poverty wages that make it nearly impossible for them to pay the rent, put gas in the car and food on the table.
“The hunger strikers should know that SEIU’s 2.1 million members stand with them in solidarity as they seek justice for workers on their campus. We urge the leadership at the University of Virginia to listen to their students and raise wages for these workers without delay.”