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Food Workers' Strike

Lenoir Hall surrounded by police and protesters

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.