Michelle Garcia ’10 is a member of the USLAC’s** dining committee and this is what she has to say:
Wesleyan claims to be a socially progressive, conscious and concerned campus, not just from an administrative point of view but in terms of student involvement. This was clearly reflected in negotiations, and Bon Appetit made a commitment to ensuring that our demands for fair employee practices are met. We’re hiring them, and therefore have the right to negotiate the terms. They’re choosing to work with Wesleyan, and we signed them with the understanding that they would maintain employee contracts as well as ensure the unionized benefits that they’ve worked so hard to establish and maintain.
We’re hiring them, and therefore have the right to negotiate the terms. They’re choosing to work with Wesleyan, and we signed them with the understanding that they would maintain employee contracts as well as ensure the unionized benefits that they’ve worked so hard to establish and maintain. Other supportive students insisted on this during negotiations not as a token gesture, but because we actually care about what happens to these people. They’re faces we see every day, Wendy, Dave, Sue
And the benefits that are being cut aren’t unjustifiable perks
We’re dealing with health care benefits, employees supporting their older parents and their children and wanting to know that the hard work they’re doing serving us is going to grant them the security they’re looking for.
Bon Appetit was fully aware of this during negotiations, presented themselves as willing to cooperate with this, and are now backing out of the deal which is completely inexcusable on several grounds — morally (which is my personal thing, and I understand that people are going to disagree with me) and contractually. They misrepresented themselves during the negotiations that got them signed.
And I think that anyone can agree that it was underhanded.
I’ve heard plenty of people talk about corporate America, turning a profit, “reasonable expectations,” but the fact remains that BA lied about what sort of food provider they really are and we have every right to be angry about that, especially when the consequences are so potentially dire.
I applaud Wesleyan for making sure that they held more contractual sway over BA’s operations. What that effectively means is that Dean Rick, and other Wes administrative representatives, are responsible for green lighting BA’s operations.
I’m not privy to the current contractual arrangement, but from what I understand Dean Rick has the final say. So it is his responsibility, as a representative of our school as well as of administrative concerns about BA, to make sure that BA holds to their end of the bargain. I’m not asking him to be Superman. I am asking him to be accountable, and part of that includes letting BA get away with misrepresentation as little as possible to ensure that workers maintain their health coverage.
No one is asking for an improvement in conditions right now. That’s for union lobbying and other negotiations to decide. Right now, we’re just asking that the hard-won benefits dining workers have gained through intense and committed struggling be maintained.
Sorry for ranting on. I’m really upset about this, and I know that USLAC is too (which is why I’m a part of it).
Got something to say? Email us at Wesleying@gmail.com.
**Previously confused with WSA dining committee.