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Food Workers' Strike

In February 1969, university cafeteria workers struck for higher wages and better working conditions. Black and white students staged various protests in support, including a slowdown of the cafeteria serving lines. In March, students overturned some tables, and Governor Robert Scott placed state police around Lenoir Hall. Students then started a Soul Food Cafeteria as an alternative to Lenoir Hall, and Governor Scott threatened to evict them. Local police persuaded the students to leave before a confrontation developed. Friday and Sitterson agreed to pay raises and other benefits for the workers, but could not recognize their unions, and soon turned the cafeteria over to a private company. The workers went on strike again in December, and President William C. Friday negotiated a settlement with the company.