Monday, February 21, 2011

Aramark Unionization

EcoAction is proud to announce its support for the unionization efforts of Aramark employees at Georgetown!

Last week, the Voice reported that Aramark employees at Georgetown—who work at Leo’s, as well as in Wolfington Hall, at Cosi and Starbucks, and at Dr. Mug—have announced to Aramark management that they plan to unionize. They plan to join Unite Here, a labor union of approximately 265,000 members in the U.S. and Canada that officially backed the efforts at Georgetown in July.

Aramark employees at Georgetown report a marked deterioration in working conditions when Aramark came to Georgetown in 2007. Their concerns include poor pay and benefits, including unaffordable health insurance; arbitrary changes in hours; arbitrary firings and threats of firing; general unjust and unfair treatment from Aramark management at Georgetown; and a lack of response to such grievances from upper management at Aramark.

The employees’ unionization efforts included not just representatives from Unite Here, but also Georget
own professors and students. The Voice reports that by the end of January, over fifty students from organizations like the Georgetown Solidarity Committee, the College Democrats, and the Georgetown chapter of the NAACP had backed the employees. The Voice has also endorsed the efforts, writing, “Both in its treatment of workers at Georgetown and in its dealings with workers in other states, Aramark’s labor relations have often been marked by negligence and exploitation.”

EcoAction joins those students and organizations in its support for the unionization efforts. Aramark employees deserve fair treatment from their management, not only with regard to concrete issues like pay and benefits, but also with regard to general respect in the workplace. EcoAction hopes that Aramark will recognize the union and negotiate responsibly with workers to address their concerns.

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