Penn Students Witness Proletarian Revolution on Spring Break

A group of roughly 800 Penn Students were witness to a workers revolution in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico—colloquially known as PV—this past week while vacationing in the resort town for Spring Break.  Local outlets report that resort workers went on strike for wages “commensurate with the amount of vomit they have to deal with on a daily basis.”

One resort worker who preferred to remain anonymous so as to avoid any potential retribution from her employer explains that, “[All of the resort workers] dread the month of March.  Even though Puerto Vallarta is a coastal paradise, for us it is like a frozen hellscape of misplaced bodily fluids, colorful men’s short-shorts, and badly pronounced Spanish.”

Guillermo Hernandez, the leader of the coalition of workers on strike, hopes that the potential threat to Puerto Vallarta’s service economy the strike poses will inspire greater respect for the resort labor force while providing leverage for the workers to gain a more equitable wage.  “We have employees doing everything short of kissing the feet of our college-aged visitors and yet they’re paid barely enough to subsist, and certainly not enough to thrive.  I ask you, how much inequality and humiliation is really necessary? Just the other day a colleague had a suite of college students where one woman insisted we draw her a bath which, besides not being a service we typically offer, also had to be comprised completely Perrier that had been left to warm in the sun for four hours. She also demanded a “bath bomb,” but we didn’t have any so we just poured in some dish soap, craft glitter, and Mountain Dew Code Red.”

Penn students had mixed reactions to the strike.  Junior Logan Hartman was scared at first, “I was like, whoa, are they going to try to mug me all at once because they’re mad about not being able to afford Yeezy Boosts, you know? I don’t know, man, I had to save for mine, surviving in this life is just about hard work, I think.”

Sophomore Alana Adros echoed Hartman’s fear, “It felt like that scene in I Am Legend where all of the zombie things were trying to get into Will Smith’s house, except they weren’t zombies per say, and this was about poverty, or whatever.  It’s like, is this what the Soviet Union was like?”

Other students saw witnessing the beginnings of a Marxist uprising as a learning experience.   Senior George Marshall explained that for him, “It was definitely eye-opening, I truly came to appreciate the tenacity of these people to really strive for more in life, they’re really leaning-in I guess you could say. It just goes to show that protections for workers aren’t all that important, they’ll fight for what they think they deserve in the free market.”

“Nothing like this ever really happens in America, probably because no one’s really treated like the workers here, but still, it’s so interesting to see another part of the world and it’s struggles authentically,” says senior Julia Tannen, “I’m just glad that we treat the poor better in America and I feel so privileged to be able to learn from the people in PV.”

Junior Shayna Lawrence even spoke to the workers about their fight.  “I don’t fully understand exactly what’s going on, but it seems like even the workers here are concerned about immigrant labor taking their jobs, they kept on chanting something about the alienation of labor? This trip has been so much more intellectually stimulating than I thought it would be, I just came here to do what I do most weekends at Penn, but near the Pacific Ocean.”

The coalition of workers on strike didn’t remain entirely intact, however.  Employees at all resorts where Penn students were staying ended up returning to work by the second or third day of break, largely due to Marshall’s efforts to, in his words, “advocate for the workers.”

“Well, we just thought that a little bit of a raise wasn’t really going to do much for their lives or dignity, hard earned money is such a personal accomplishment,” explained Marshall, “Plus, we really needed someone to make us drinks, so we decided to buy them off.  A couple of hundred Penn students got together and started pulling some strings, by the end we sourced enough money to send all of the workers’ children to college, it’s a shame we couldn’t get it together on the first day, but some of the wire transfers took a bit.”

When Martinez heard about the college money Penn students had pooled he laughed uncontrollably for about five minutes before responding that, “Those kids probably don’t realize what they just did is massive wealth transfer.  That said, flashy displays are never going to fix the deeply rooted dynamics of this issue, I just hope this doesn’t derail our efforts.”

Reflecting upon the events in PV, Tannen said, “My family was more than happy to send some kids to college to get the frozen margs going and I got to relax for the rest of break knowing that all of their problems are totally solved forever.  Now the resort workers won’t have to save for their children’s college funds anymore, but I just hope they spend those extra wages responsibly on healthy foods and buying a home instead of renting, that way they won’t have to keep protesting for stuff.”

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