We have amazing news.
We scored a huge victory against Aramark at arbitration this week.
We forced Aramark to admit it violated the law when they screwed up our members’ Records of Employment (ROEs) this past May, and commit to a specific agreement on how and when it will issue ROEs in the future.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
As you know, Aramark lays off all of our 400+ members in campus food services every year at the end of April.
ALL of our members rely on ROEs to be submitted to Service Canada in order to qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
With our highest wage earners making just $22/hour, and ¾ of our members working only part-time hours, you can understand how important getting those EI cheques is to our members.
This year Aramark was late with dozens if not hundreds of our ROEs (they never admitted to us how many), and they recorded incorrect “last day worked” dates on them.
Our union leadership brought the issue to Aramark’s attention on the day they were due, and while our local HR staff were helpful and sympathetic, the attitude of Aramark’s corporate HQ to us was cavalier: They claimed they couldn’t change their payroll system and complained about how many ROEs they have to issue every year! We knew that was unacceptable.
We filed a group grievance and asked our members to tell union leaders how late their ROEs were and whether they incurred financial losses. It turns out many of our members had to borrow money from friends or family and/or had to pay late fees or interest on missed bill payments.
When Aramark seemed incapable of addressing our issues through civil discussion, our Union decided to expedite our grievance to arbitration.
The hearing was Tuesday, August 2nd, and with an arbitrator’s assistance, we were able to get Aramark to agree to specific terms of how they will issue ROEs in the future.
In addition, we got them to agree to compensate nineteen of our members who were able to demonstrate to us that they incurred financial losses!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?
This victory is proof that collective action works! When we unite and pool our resources together through our union, the possibilities to improve our working conditions with uncaring bosses are endless!
WHAT WE ARE WORKING TOWARD
Remember that all three of our CUPE 229 Collective Agreements expire next year, and we will need to come together to support each other in our struggle for better wages and working conditions for our next contract.
We will be making efforts to speak to ALL members in the coming months about your workplace issues and how YOU can be part of the plan to win the improvements we deserve.
From Your Bargaining Team,
Donnie, James, Amy, Katie, Kendra and Cynthia