Today we send all our solidarity and support to CUPE 3205 members, who work in food services at Trent University, as they fight for a better contract with their employer, Compass Group of Canada. Not only do we urge Compass to immediately bargain a fair deal with its workers, we also urge Trent University to take responsibility for working conditions on its campus and ensure stable, secure, full-time jobs for food service workers.
On Thursday, January 25, 2018, CUPE 3205 members overwhelmingly rejected a forced vote on the employer’s latest offer, with 96% voting no. Unfortunately, Compass’ negotiating position fails to address the needs of workers, who are fighting on the front lines against precarious work as they attempt to bargain protections for hours of work and job security. As a result, the union has set a strike deadline of February 3, 2018.
Attacks on the working conditions of food service workers on university campuses by highly profitable private contractors are sadly nothing new in Ontario. Where our members work and study at York University, food service contractor Aramark (a wealthy multinational corporation) refused calls from its workers – members of Unite HERE Local 75 – to provide decent wages and benefits. In March 2017, York food service workers went on strike and won a minimum base wage of $15 an hour – before the provincial government’s announcement it would increase the minimum wage – along with an improved benefits package, among other gains. The wage increase alone represented nearly $3 an hour gain over the previous minimum rate – a remarkable victory.
During the strike, members of the Cross Campus Alliance worked in concert with striking food service workers to keep the pressure on Aramark and York to reach a settlement favourable to the workers. The inspiring win of Unite HERE Local 75 at York – made possible above all by the courage and tenacity of York food service workers – showed the power students and workers can have when they stand together.
We encourage all of members to visit this link to send a message to Compass and Trent in support of food service workers.
The York Cross Campus Alliance represents tens of thousands of students, staff, and faculty at York University and includes:
York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA)
York University Faculty Association (YUFA)
York University Staff Association (YUSA)