Metro

Tufts dining hall workers announce they have unionized

About 150 dining hall workers at Tufts University announced Tuesday they have unionized and called on the school’s president to recognize their bargaining group.

If recognized, the Tufts workers would join Unite Here Local 26, which also represents dining hall workers at Northeastern University and Harvard University, among others.

“In both cases, workers won celebrated agreements that significantly improved job security, income and respect for campus workers,” union officials said in a statement.

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Union president Brian Lang called on the Tufts administration to recognize the union and “immediately sit down to address the dining hall workers’ concerns.”

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More than 40 student groups have joined a coalition backing the union, and some 500 students marched with dining hall workers on Tuesday to demonstrate their support.

In a statement, Tufts spokesman Patrick Collins said the school values “our dining service employees and the important work they do for Tufts and its students.”

“We respect the rights of employees to seek an election to decide for themselves whether unionization is in their best interests,” he said.

Immacula Desroses, a dining hall worker, said she has worked at the school for nearly 30 years but doesn’t “feel heard.”

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“I know how to do my job,” she said. “I want to be treated like a human being. I decided I couldn’t wait any longer.”

Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.