St. James Gospel Justice committee members in a press release urged:
“Other Davis faith-based social justice groups to join in solidarity with contracted-out food service workers at UCD in their fight to become University employees. On Wednesday September 19, 2007, 8:30 am at the Mondavi Center we will be speaking with the UC Regents to affirm the “inherent dignity” of all campus workers.”
The organization from St. James Catholic Church in Davis, is committed to social justice causes. They cited in their release many unacceptable working conditions faced by the food service workers at UC Davis including under-compensated wages, inadequate health care benefits, no retirement benefits, company’s past broken promises to improve wages and health benefits; and the company’s replacing experienced workers with students and temp-workers to thwart legitimate desires of career workers to join the university and a union for better working conditions.
“These unacceptable working conditions are in conflict with the “inherent dignity” and “climate of justice” espoused within the University’s Principles of Community…
Gospel Justice committee members urge an early expeditious employee conversion of contracted-out food service workers to UC Davis employment. This is the real desire of all the workers and is in fact, the action that will re-establish the ethical credibility of the University’s “Principles of Community”.”
Today’s UC Regents meeting will be the staging ground for new pressure placed on the UC Davis administration, as the only UC Campus that contracts out their food service workers.
Alma Martinez, a working student who was arrested during a protest on May 1st said:
“We are united as workers, I feel close to many of the workers as if they were my parents, and so I am very disappointed that the administration is ignoring us and disrespecting the community it is supposed to serve.”
As we recently reported, UC Davis announced an agreement with Sodexho that would improve wages and reduce healthcare costs for contracted out employees.
The workers have applauded this development as a step in the right direction, however in the end, as we suggested, this offer is not an acceptable solution to workers, students, and the community.
According to a press release from the Sodexho Food Workers and AFSCME Local 3299,
“Workers welcome improvements in their terms and conditions of employment, however, the fundamental disparity continues. If the University can make changes to the terms and conditions of employment for contracted out workers, then it can make the right change by making them direct UC employees and Union members.”
Steven Ordiano, a UC Davis alum who was arrested on May 1st said:
“This just shows how out of touch the administration is with the community, since they know there are problems, but they continue to exclude those who are most affected – the workers.”
The Vanguard will be at the Mondavi Center to cover this event this morning. Stay tuned today for full coverage and updates.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting