IN THIS ISSUE: Featured Interviews & Articles: Student Perspective: Making CUNY a Place to Educate and Organize New York City Food Workers: A Call to Action; Barboncino Workers United: Interview with Alex Dinndorf; A Human Rights Approach to Food and Labor, article by Jacquelyn Sullivan / Suggested Readings & Resources / Policy Highlight / Previous Video Recording / Upcoming Events / Survey / Opportunities


Greetings CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor readers and members of our food policy learning community!

2023 is a year of union wins. From the Writers Guild of America to United Auto Workers, unions have successfully secured major labor wins for the millions of workers they represent. Most recently, Starbucks Workers United’s (SBUW) Red Cup Rebellion, where over 5,000 workers went on strike, secured the ability for workers to pause mobile orders during busy rushes; a concession granted by Starbucks to SBWU, which is determined to negotiate a contract. What do these organizing efforts mean for the 40,000 students of the City University of New York (CUNY) working in the food industry? How do students’ working conditions impact their social and learning environments, and what can be done to make sure students understand and defend their rights within the workplace?

In this month’s newsletter, we explore some of the answers to these questions. First, Luis Saavedra, Research Associate at the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute (CUFPI) and graduate student at CUNY SPH, calls on CUNY to ensure the health and well-being of CUNY students working in the food industry. He notes the importance of being equipped with organizing tools during his undergraduate years at CUNY’s Lehman College and why CUNY needs to equip students working in food with education on workplace rights and protections. We then interview Alex Dinndorf of Barboncino Workers United and a CUNY Hunter College alumnus (Class of 2022) on the organizing efforts that led to Barboncino becoming the first unionized pizzeria in New York City. Alex shares his organizing experience and perspective on the impact of unions in ensuring safer, fairer workplaces. We hope these conversations can serve as a starting point for CUNY to mobilize and further support students working in the food sector. 


Guest Editor of this Issue: Luis Saavedra, Research Associate, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and Master’s of Public Health Student at CUNY SPH

Production Coordinator: Rositsa T. Ilieva, Director of Policy, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute

Digital Content Specialist: Liv Collins, Communications Assistant, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute