Sodexo workers in Cabrini College’s cafeteria have decided to band together to become unionized.
A union is a group of workers who use their strength to have a voice in their workplace. This would provide the cafeteria employees the right to impact wages, work hours, benefits, health and safety and other work related issues. Unions ensure fairness and respect in the workplace.
More than 97 percent of union workers have jobs that provide health insurance benefits while only 85 percent of non-union workers do.
“They were unhappy with some aspects of their jobs so they decided it was time to make a change,” Lynne Fox, manager of Philadelphia Joint Board Workers United, said.
Employees can thank labor unions for better wages, a shorter workweek and a safer environment for the workplace. Job security is another gain that union workers can benefit from. Non-union workers can be fired and hired “at will” meaning that employers can fire someone without giving a reason. By joining a union, employers must not discriminate and this gives employees more freedom to speak up about issues.
An election was held on Thursday, Oct. 8 to make the union certified and the next step is negotiating the details. Sodexo workers are currently in negotiations about their contract, which includes talks about their benefits, wages, hours and working conditions.
“It is our job to do the best that we can for as many workers as we can,” Fox said.
This union will cover all employees in hopes that working conditions will improve as well as health and safety precautions.
“I’ve been here for 10 years now and we tried to start a union earlier because of how the company was ran as far as treating everyone fair and I think now it’s about time,” Chef Rasool McCauley said.
Changes are underway for workers who are looking to be treated fairly and respectfully. McCauley hopes that the cafeteria not only improves for the workers but the students as well.
“We’re a fun bunch. We love what we do and we are dedicated,”McCauley said. “We don’t want this place to just be a cafeteria to the students. We want it to be a place where they can relax and unwind and not worry about anything and just be able to enjoy themselves and have a good time.”