AAUP Chapter Fights Dining Services Outsourcing

Faculty and other workers at Eastern Michigan University are fighting a move by the EMU board of regents to privatize dining services at the institution.

In April, according to the EMU All Union Council, which includes unions representing tenure and non-tenure-­track faculty, food service and maintenance workers and clerical employees, a request for proposals (RFP) for food services was released at 4:23 pm, requiring a response just 37 minutes later at 5 pm. The likely new vendor is Chartwells, a subsidiary of a British firm called The Compass Group.!

The council reports that the operation of dining services currently returns a surplus to the university, and student satisfaction is high. Given this, they question why privatization is being pursued, and are raising concerns about the quality of food services that Chartwells provides as well as the company’s labor practices. Several news reports have detailed issues with food quality, including at another Michigan University. Numerous current employees and students will be at risk for losing dining services jobs.

More information and a petition are here: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/emu-board-of-regents.

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