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Vest issues statement on custodian strike

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- About 70 supporters of the striking UNICCO custodians in Boston gathered on the steps of 77 Massachusetts Avenue Thursday to voice their concerns and attempt to enlist MIT in their cause.

Kenneth Campbell, director of the MIT News Office, read the following statement from MIT President Charles M. Vest:

"We are supportive of workers' needs for health benefits and fair wages. All custodians working on the MIT campus have health care benefits and all MIT employees are paid fairly.

"We have faith that the collective bargaining process will yield a reasonable and fair result. We hope that this matter can be resolved quickly and that the workers will be treated fairly."

Campbell added, "Contrary to a statement by a community activist group, MIT does not employ UNICCO workers on the MIT campus. Regarding University Park, MIT has leased the land to Forest City for 75 years and Forest City has the operating responsibility for University Park." UNICCO custodians do much of the cleaning at University Park.

The demonstrators marched inside to Lobby 7 to conclude their rally, chanting slogans for about 15 minutes. They dispersed at about 6 p.m.

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