December 3, 2015

Cornell Coalition Launches With Rally, Letter Drop Thursday

Print More

Dozens of students marched through the Cornell Store toward Day Hall Thursday, holding signs and chanting in support of workers’ rights to announce the creation of the Coalition Against Gulf Exploitation, which is composed of approximately 30 different campus organizations.

CAGE’s demands include an independent, third-party investigation of labor conditions at the Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar and granting Cornell workers in Qatar the right to unionize and collectively bargain, according to Allison Considine ’17, CAGE’s press liaison.

Members of CAGE fly a banner from McGraw tower on Thursday. (Cameron Pollack / Sun Senior Photographer)

Members of CAGE fly a banner from McGraw tower on Thursday. (Cameron Pollack / Sun Senior Photographer)

“We are the students … we want justice for our workers,” the students chanted as they marched.

The rally, which started at around 12:45 p.m., began with several students giving opening speeches that outlined their concerns over Cornell’s labor practices in Qatar. CAGE members then took a picture in front of McGraw Tower while holding a banner that read, “end exploitation of our workers in Qatar.”

After arriving at Day Hall, the coalition sent members inside to deliver a letter and a petition in support of CAGE’s demands to President Elizabeth Garrett. Hundreds of individuals had signed individual copies of the petition, which were then formed into a paper chain to be delivered to Garrett.

“As a student, I demand an independent investigation and swift remediation of our abuse of Cornell’s direct and subcontracted campus workers in Qatar,” the petition reads.

As Garrett was not in her office when the students arrived, CAGE members read the letter aloud to a member of the office staff instead.

“We cannot blindly accept assurance that workers employed at our campus are exempt from the abusive labor practices that might affect the migrant workers throughout that region,” the letter reads. “It is not enough to simply provide additional measures and benefits while disregarding the underlying issues at hand.”

The letter concluded with a list of all organizations signed on to the coalition, which ranges from the Cornell International Affairs Society to the Interfraternity Council.

“Students acting collectively is how these campaigns are won,” Considine said. “We’ve proven in the past that this works.”

Next semester the coalition aims to continue pressuring the administration to take action and respond to their demands, she added.

2 thoughts on “Cornell Coalition Launches With Rally, Letter Drop Thursday

  1. Why can’t you accept the President’s assurances about abusive practices the Qatar campus? Have you children just decided it’s not enough to satisfy your needs? On what basis do you still want to march through the store, wave banners, get your names in the Sun, and read something to an office staff member [I’m sure the staff member was impressed!!] who probably couldn’t care less.
    Have any of you been to Qatar? It’s a constitutional monarchy adhering to Wahhabi Islam. Sharia law is the code they live by….floggings — 30-100 lashings for illicit sexual relations, and proselytizing can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. Stoning is still legal punishment! Veerry conservative rules about alcohol. Human rights is not high on their list. Do you children think for one minute that CU is going to change much over there? Stop bothering the president with silly demands she can’t fulfill. Let her do the job she was hired to do and you get back to your studies! That’s your job, BTW.

    • While we all have our stereotypes, has anybody done formal studies of the distribution of majors in these naive protests? It would probably a serious indictment of all the bullshit majors that keep being created. Especially since the liberal arts _____________ studies majors are supposed to be experts on this stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *