Workers overwhelming approve agreement providing raises, affordable health care
Indianapolis, Ind. — Workers employed by Aramark at Butler and Marian Universities have ratified their first union contract, overwhelmingly approving the agreement 115-1. Campus and food service workers at both universities were recognized as a union within the last year.
The contract comes after over eight months of negotiations with Aramark. The agreement provides for significant raises each year of the contract, a 401k with a company match, and lowers the cost of health insurance for employees every year over the life of the contract.
Tanya Grey is a 22-year food service worker at Butler University. She was part of the negotiating committee who urged her fellow workers to vote yes on this contract.
"I am proud of the agreement we have come to. My biggest issue has always been health insurance. With this contract our insurance will be a lot more affordable and I will be able to continue to have coverage in the summer even when the students are gone."
Workers at Butler and Marian Universities were both strongly supported by their campus communities in their quest to organize a union and negotiate their first contract. Katie Burns is a senior at Butler University and a longtime student ally of the workers.
"Today is a great day for Aramark food service workers. They can finally exercise the ownership and pride they put into their jobs every day. As a student I am happy that the people who are so much a part of my experience here now have a good contract with affordable health care, raises and retirement benefits."
Nearly 500 food service workers have joined UNITE HERE in Indianapolis in the last three years, despite Indiana becoming a so-called "right-to-work" state. In addition to the workers at Marian and Butler, UNITE HERE represents food service workers at IUPUI and Indianapolis International Airport, where 80 HMS Host workers ratified their first contract at the end of August.
UNITE HERE is an organization representing hospitality workers in Indianapolis and 250,000 additional workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Workers and community allies are available for comment. To schedule an interview, please contact Carli Stevenson at 603-343-2089 or cstevenson [at] unitehere [dot] org.