UNITE HERE Local 1, which represents cafeteria workers at Loyola University Chicago, has shared some good news. In the midst of the pandemic, food service workers at Loyola University have secured a new union contract with their employer, Aramark. The agreement includes recall rights for employees put out of work due to the pandemic, measures to increase COVID safety, across-the-board pay raises, and measures to ensure that employees who return to work have health insurance right away.
“This has not been an easy year. My coworkers have been struggling – many have been out of work, many have been sick, some have lost loved ones, and there isn’t one person who has not been affected by this pandemic,” said Monica Manning, a food service worker who has worked at Loyola for 20 years. “Finally, there seems to be a light at the end of this tunnel. With more of us coming back to work, this contract will give us the protections that we need to feel safe at work. Just as importantly, this contract will give all of our coworkers who are still laid off the security of knowing they will be able to go back to work as soon as the work comes back at Loyola.”
259 food service workers at Loyola are represented by UNITE HERE Local 1. Food service operators at some other Chicago-area universities have not signed similar agreements, leaving workers without many of the protections achieved in this contract at Loyola.