On April 18, UNITE HERE members in Columbus, GA ratified a new contract for the more than 900 contracted food service workers at Fort Benning.
With 98% voting in support, the new agreement builds on the landmark 2010 contract in which Fort Benning food service workers won unprecedented improvements in their economic and working conditions, and set a new standard for language guaranteeing dignity and respect on the job for workers who feed our nation’s troops.
Though this year’s negotiations were surrounded by rumors about potential military budget cuts, UNITE HERE members at Fort Benning have been unwavering in their commitment to ensure that their work is valued fairly.
In addition to preserving affordable health benefits and winning an increase of $0.49/hr. in their total compensation, the new contract adds longevity bonuses to honor the many workers who have given long-term service to Fort Benning. A special bonus will go to the more than 100 workers who have been at the base for over 25 years, and additional bonuses will be given to workers as they reach the 20-, 30- and 40-year anniversaries of their employment.
Next week, a group of Fort Benning food service workers will travel to Washington, DC to meet with Congressman John Lewis to discuss ways to minimize the impact of military budget cuts on low-income support workers.