Four Philadelphia staffers, two parents go on hunger strike for safe schools

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

These days, public protests and political talk may seem to be regularly scheduled as the countdown to the state's June 30 budget deadline looms, but one group has aimed for "a different kind of attention."

Four members of local unions, two of whom have students in Philly public schools, began a hunger strike early yesterday in front of Gov. Corbett's Center City field office. No food or juice, just water.

The group from Unite Here Locals 634 and 274 is demanding more funding to ensure the safety of the city's schools now that the district has sent layoff notices in the past 11 days to nearly 3,900 workers, including 1,200 school aides, which are represented by Local 634.

"We had to figure out a way to bring a different kind of attention to what the government and people in power are doing because they're pretty much turning their backs on public education in Philadelphia," said hunger-striker Mike Mullins, 39, secretary-treasurer for Local 274, which represents hotel and food-service workers.

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