Support for our sisters and brothers at SFU Burnaby

Food service workers at SFU received termination notices this month, as part of the ongoing re-tendering of the food services contract at SFU. There is still uncertainty regarding what company will win the contract—it could be the current company (Chartwells, a division of Compass Group Canada), but it could also be a transnational food supplier such as Aramark or Sodexho. Workers and their union (Unite Here! Local 40) are demanding to keep their jobs, their benefits, and their union contract; if a new company comes in, they lose all three by default. SFU Administration has the capacity to guarantee “successorship,” meaning that the new contractor would assume the previous contract with these workers. Instead, SFU Administration has promised workers will “receive a job offer,” but has so far refused to guarantee these workers’ benefits or other contract protections.

These workers are among the lowest paid on campus; many have worked here for decades, and most earn $16-$18 an hour. More than half of these workers are women, a number of them are immigrants, and many are people of colour. By refusing to guarantee the continuation of their contract, SFU Administration is allowing a corporation to increase its profits by rolling back the very limited protections these workers have fought for since these jobs were privatized. 

The good news is that concerned faculty and students are committed to doing whatever they can to help fellow workers on our campus, and ensure SFU Administration does the right thing.

Please support your sisters and brothers at SFU by signing the petition over here

Feedback has been positive and vocal so far: 

“I’m an SFU grad student and a former resident at SFU Residence and Housing, who had used the Dining Hall on a regular basis and have personally met the amazing people who would be affected by this institutional reorganization. I am appalled and ashamed by the university’s mistreatment of dedicated workers who have been serving the SFU community continuously and professionally for many years. How easy it is to pick on and exploit the more vulnerable segments of the work force by outsourcing their hard labor and depriving them of their much-needed benefits and contract protections. Dear administration, words mean nothing if your actions don’t match your words. SFU can and should be better than this. I’m looking forward to a quick and just resolution to this grave mistreatment of the SFU community.

Ziv Levin, Burnaby, Canada