Cafeteria workers at the New School threatened with layoffs


Cafeteria workers at the New School threatened with layoffs

Philip Guelpa

8 May 2018

Most of the current forty-five cafeteria workers at The New School for Social Research, a private university in New York City, will be laid off at the beginning of July, according to the school administration, and replaced by lower paid student workers. Some of the workers may be moved to other facilities run by the private contractor, Chartwells/Compass USA, which currently holds a service contract to operate The New School cafeteria, but they would suffer substantial cuts in seniority, pay, and benefits. Many will simply lose their jobs.

A 54-year-old cafeteria worker, Rodrick Prude, told the New School Free Press, “If this goes down, I lose everything, basically. Pension, health insurance. I can’t pay my bills with no job. I would have to start all over again with nothing.” The university has said that existing workers may apply for the new positions, but with no preference or continuation of current pay and benefits.

As part of a nation-wide and, indeed, world-wide campaign by the financial and corporate elite to attack education at every level, the move by the school is clearly aimed at cutting costs by substituting super-exploited student labor for already poorly paid workers.

Stephen Stabile, vice president for finance and business and treasurer, said that the university would run the cafeteria itself, providing an “opportunity for new student jobs.” Though, he noted, “there will likely be some changes in pay.” According to Stabile, food services are not profitable for the university.

Chartwells’ contract with the university, which was initiated in 2002, ends July 1, but its termination has been publicly known since March 5.

The New School cafeteria workers…

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