Opinion

Staff Editorial: Chartwells workers deserve more benefits

Though they have gone unnoticed by many in the University of Miami’s community, Chartwells workers’ protests have been anything but silent.

UM’s Chartwells employees are seeking to unionize in order to demand better working conditions from the dining services corporation. These workers are unhappy that they continue to work full-time without any health benefits or raises.

Chartwells, the national company in charge of most food services on campus, has dodged the opportunity to explicitly defend itself. But as students who constantly interact with these employees, we cannot ignore when members of our UM community are not being treated as they should.

Most full-time employees in the state of Florida and across the country receive health-benefits for putting 40 hours a week of hard work and time into a company. Why should these Chartwells workers be excluded from this norm?

Chartwells workers are already offered some health benefit plan options – at a cost. But Chartwells workers make barely more than minimum wage, making the idea of them paying for health insurance out of pocket seem unrealistic. Regardless, it seems like Chartwells thinks that offering health benefits is more than enough.

These employees provide a huge service to us as students, as well as to staff, faculty and visitors on campus. At every booth in the food court and dining halls, Chartwells workers are the ones making our food, serving it and making sure we’re satisfied. For this reason alone, we should care that they too are satisfied.

In 2006, our hundreds of UM janitors and landscapers organized a strike against UNICCO, the national facilities management services corporation. Our on-campus UNICCO workers were also unhappy with their working conditions and benefits. But fortunately, UNICCO workers were successful in getting their wishes fulfilled and now have increased wages, seniority status, paid healthcare coverage and more. Although this process took four years to complete, they fought and got what they wanted.

We want the same success for our Chartwells workers. Serving hungry college students on a daily basis isn’t easy, and some even work more than one booth a day. These employees have definitely paid their dues and deserve more than what they are bargaining for.

 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.


February 8, 2012

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Staff Editorial: Chartwells workers deserve more benefits”

  1. Jacob says:

    As an involved alumni of UM and resident of Miami, I want to appreciate the editorial board for its leadership in writing this. I remember first reading the report (prior to the living wage campaign) from the Chronicle of Higher Education that stated that UM ranked almost dead last in pay for service workers- below the federal poverty line at the time. It makes me proud of my alma mater to know that the Hurricane made a judgment based on principle and integrity, and to know the leadership chartwells workers are showing in improving our universities community, even if its hard.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The name conjures images of tranquil waters, lush palm trees and cool breezes. The faces conjure ima ...

A heap of preseason accolades are being showered daily on the University of Miami football players. ...

James Jones, who starred at Hialeah American High School, the University of Miami and was a part of ...

A classic good news/bad news scenerio arose for Miami Hurricanes football at the recent Atlantic Coa ...

The University of Miami football players are not the only ones getting preseason accolades. The guys ...

Looking back on 15 years of the University of Miami Business Plan Competition, hosted by the School ...

Read the latest entries from UM students who are spending part or all of their summer visiting diffe ...

Value in the Era of Analytics ...

Summer Creative Writing Camp Inspires Young Writers to Release Their Emotions Onto the Page. ...

Gomez, an expert on human values and attitudes in post-Castro Cuba, will serve as interim director o ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.