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Dominican University Cafeteria Workers Win Union

February 16, 2011

Approximately 30 campus dining workers at Dominican University have won union recognition from their employer, Chartwells, choosing to join UNITE HERE Local 1.

"I'm proud of the work we do, and I’m glad that Chartwells respected us and let me and my coworkers choose what we wanted. I support the union because we deserve a voice on the job. Now we will be able to negotiate for better wages and benefits that will move my family forward, and make life better for the workers that come after us," said Frank Studaway, a cook in the Dominican University dining halls.

Recently, a majority of Dominican campus dining workers, with support from Dominican faculty, students, and clergy asked Chartwells for a fair process to choose a union. The company agreed to a process and recognized UNITE HERE Local 1 on Thursday, February 10th.

Liesl Orenic, a history professor at Dominican, said, "We value community at Dominican, so it's exciting to see that honored by our food service vendor. Dominican's mission of creating a more just and humane world is strengthened when all members of the Dominican community, including dining service workers, have a voice."

Donna M. Carroll, President of Dominican University, added, "As a Catholic University, we believe strongly in the dignity of the human person and his or her right to free association, clear voice and a just wage. The Chartwells workers are part of the Dominican University community, and we care about the quality of their working life. I appreciate the forthright manner in which Chartwells management and UNITE HERE Local 1 are approaching this union organizing drive."

The Dominican University workers are the third group of cafeteria workers at a Catholic college or university to win union representation with UNITE HERE in the past three months. In November, over 200 dining workers at Loyola University Chicago joined UNITE HERE Local 1 and more than 50 dining workers at St. Peters College in Jersey City, NJ, joined UNITE HERE Local 100.

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