Student workers protest for right to unionize

by Adriana Millar, Senior Staff Writer

A protest was held in support of Aztec Shops workers’ right to unionize during an Aztec Shops board meeting Friday afternoon, Dec. 11.

The protest was organized by SDSU Forward, a coalition of students and community members dedicated to supporting workers at San Diego State. About 20 students attended the protest held in from of East Commons, despite heavy rain and final exams.

The purpose of the protest was to show support for Aztec Shops workers and their efforts to organize a union, as well as to demonstrate to management the support for student workers.

“(Aztec Shops workers) efforts are growing, but with those growing efforts, the management is pushing back,SDSU Forward leader Bo Elder said.

Aztec Shops has started using scare tactics,in an effort to prevent student workers from forming a union, Elder said.

For example, putting a lot of anti-union propaganda in the workplace, telling people they cant talk to anyone, letting people know theyre being watched,he said.

Also at the protest were representatives from San Diego Fight for Fifteen, a group dedicated to raising the minimum wage in San Diego to $15 an hour.

The protest followed an effort to meet with Aztec Shops CEO Donna Tusack on Nov. 19, in which students were students were turned away from her office.

SDSU Forward chose to demonstrate on Dec. 11 because of an Aztec Shops board meeting taking place at the same time. Three delegates went to the meeting but were told by management there would be no dialogue.

SDSU Forward member and rhetoric and writing studies tutor Brooke Petersen said it was important to demonstrate during the meeting to effectively communicate their message. During the meeting, management appeared to be more concerned with budgets and profits than student life, Petersen said.

I feel like administration is not willing to listen to us,she said. I feel like they are resistant to student concerns.