CHICAGO) – After a strike by Chicago State University cafeteria workers, a new statement by the University leave workers feeling hopeful about their prospects for work and a contract settlement in the New Year.
Last week, workers worried they might lose their jobs in the New Year after campus food service provider Thompson Hospitality told workers that it might stop providing food service on campus due to a financial dispute with CSU. In a major step forward for workers, CSU has now issued a letter to Thompson Hospitality which indicates that the University and food service provider are working to resolve outstanding financial obligations. The letter also urged the company to bargain in good faith with workers.
On December 3, the cafeteria workers’ union filed unfair labor practice charges against Thompson Hospitality for repeatedly cancelling negotiations and failing to bargain in good faith. On December 6, cafeteria workers went on strike in response to Thompson Hospitality’s cancellation of negotiations. It was the first strike of university cafeteria workers in Chicago history.
“I see this letter as a victory for me and my colleagues,” said Candice Cain, who has worked in the cafeteria for two years. “While this is a positive step forward, I hope Thompson Hospitality does the right thing and continues negotiations with us.”
Earlier this year, dining hall workers unionized in an effort to bring stability and end poverty wages paid to food service employees at the University. While the union has been in contract negotiations with Thompson Hospitality since June, Thompson has cancelled scheduled meetings twice, and its last meeting with the union was on October 16.