Workers celebrate Food Day by highlighting the union advantage

On Monday, Food Workers and their union, UNITE HERE, celebrated Food Day by hosting and participating in events on college campuses across the United States. The events – held at multiple locations in Baltimore, Boston, Connecticut, Chicago, and the Los Angeles area – brought together food workers with students, faculty, and community food organizations, creating an opportunity for participants from diverse backgrounds to cook, eat, talk, listen, and learn from each other about how to improve our food system.

UNITE HERE’s Food Day events highlighted the link between fair wages and benefits as an integral part of solving our nation’s food and health crises. For example, because of their low wages, many non-union food workers struggle just to feed their families: 13 percent of food service workers lived in households that utilized food stamps at some point during the year, nearly double the national average. In contrast, food service workers represented by unions have significantly higher earnings and benefits (18 percent higher wages than those without a union), providing workers with more resources to meet the needs of their families. Sonja Edwards, a food worker at Loyola University, where employees recently won their first union contract, noted that “the difference the union has made in my life is of course the pay increase. That’s extra money I can put towards fresh groceries.”

More information about UNITE HERE’s Food Day events may be found at www.RealFoodRealJobs.org. UNITE HERE represents over 90,000 food service workers employed in corporate cafeterias, airports, universities, school districts, sports stadiums and event centers, amusement parks, cultural institutions, and national parks. In addition, UNITE HERE represents tens of thousands of restaurant workers inside hotels and casinos.

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 4:23 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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