New food provider means loss of employment

When Sodexho failed to secure the new contract to provide food services at Concordia, many of its employees, some of whom had worked on campus for years, were presented with pink slips.
Last April, students circulated petitions to show solidarity with the workers and encourage the university to secure work for them with the new provider, Chartwells, which at the time had yet to be announced.
According to campus food guru Zev Tiefenbach, co-ordinator of the People’s Potato, Chartwells has endeavoured to interview as many of the former Sodexho employees as possible.
“But at the end of the day, we were hopeful that Sodexho would get the contract because of the affinity we have for their staff,” he said.
Tiefenbach said he regularly sees workers around town and added that some have been transferred to other locations within the company, such as the Biodome.
Others have not been so lucky. As some employees had as many as 25 years of seniority and were unionized with Sodexho, it is hard to beat the $11 to $18 an hour many were paid.
By starting anew with another service provider, they risk being pushed to the bottom of the pay totem pole and starting from scratch.
“We were hoping employment standards would be considered when looking for a new service provider,” said Tiefenbach, adding that to his knowledge Chartwells employees are not unionized.

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