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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Aramark exhibits history of disputes

Aramark, the company that is contracted to provide food services for GW, has had its share of labor problems.

Last week Aramark employees who work at J Street met with union leaders to consult about difficulties they have receiving their full salaries on a weekly basis. The employees called for full payment and more respect from management. But GW employees are not the first to face adversity with Aramark.

In 1996, Aramark management failed to recognize a union formed by cafeteria workers in the Lindbergh, Mo., school district. The workers called for higher wages, better vacations and medical benefits, according to a Feb. 22, 1996 article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The union was finally recognized after the workers filed with the National Labor Relations Board, charging Aramark with unfair labor practices. Aramark and the employees finalized contracts at the end of the year, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the NLRB had the authority to order a contractor to bargain with unions after Aramark stalled contract negotiations with food service employees in Florida’s Duval County School District and at the Citadel, a South Carolina military college.

A few weeks before GW employees met with the union, Boston University food service workers, who are also under contract with Aramark, began pushing for unionization, according to a Jan. 28, 2000 Daily Free Press article.

BU employees said Aramark attempted to hamper labor’s efforts to unionize, according to the article. The student government endorsed the union’s effort.

Ararmark’s Regional Labor Relations Director E. James Reichert said his company tries to avoid unionization when clients prefer to work with non-union employees. BU and GW are considered Aramark clients because University administrators sign contracts employing Aramark’s food service. He said as employees organize, Aramark management confers with clients to decide whether they should try to discourage union formation.

He said working with labor unions is more costly than negotiating with non-union employees. He said he was unable to comment on GW’s current labor situation.

Reichert said if the employees want to unionize, Aramark tries to work with the unions and to be fair.

We don’t like to make problems or have problems created, he said.

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