100 food service workers laid off at Acadia

WOLFVILLE, NS (27 November 2006) - FOOD SERVICE WORKERS at Acadia University in Wolfville have received layoff notices effective December 21.

On October 28, Acadia University announced that it had awarded its food services contract (which has been held by Sodexho for some years) to Chartwells / Compass Group effective December 22. The status of over 100 workers is in jeopardy, with no announcement by Chartwells / Compass as to new hiring, wages or benefits.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 902, the union which represents Acadia's food service staff, wrote to Chartwells / Compass on November 1 to ask that the existing workers be re-hired, with their seniority/service, wages and benefits intact. SEIU Local 902 has also requested that Chartwells/Compass voluntarily recognize the union which workers formed over three years ago.

Despite the practice of all previous food service providers at Acadia University, dating back to 1968, to recognize years of service and seniority for the purposes of re-hiring and allocation of vacation leave benefits, existing workers have still not received word of whether they will be re-hired, or whether existing benefits, wages, and seniority will carry over to the new food service provider.

"Many of Acadia's food service workers have given decades of their lives to Acadia University," said SEIU Canada National Organizer Tony Tracy. "For these workers to remain in limbo a full month after Acadia awarded the contract to Chartwells is unacceptable."

"These workers have collectively dedicated over 1000 years of service to Acadia University, and many have given over half their lives to Acadia. They deserve to have that service recognized by the new food service provider at the University."

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