For immediate release
March 31, 2023
“The practice of using temp workers by food service contractors across some of the most prestigious buildings in the Nation’s Capital is an issue UNITE HERE has long recognized needs addressing. It’s something our Union has taken straight to the bargaining table as part of a city-wide contract fight led by Compass Group food service workers across several of D.C.’s most esteemed properties.
“One thing our proposal would require is that the company gets approval from the Union to bring in any temp workers. This would ensure a process allowing long-time, professional staff to have the first shot to fill any open shifts before needing to bring in someone with less commitment to doing the job. It would prioritize the veteran unionized workforce with decades experience.
“As a Union, we and our members take seriously the part of their jobs that has them regularly face-to-face with some of the world’s most powerful people. Our members across D.C. serve events with guests ranging from members of Congress to literal royalty. If you spoke to any one of our folks in these elite buildings, the first thing you will notice is how much pride they take in doing the work that they do. A big part of that pride is an understanding of confidentiality related to the nature of their workplace environment. This is because with a strong union contract, they know they will have in writing the wages, benefits, and protections needed for the job to be a lifelong career.
“You simply won’t get that level of discretion from someone who doesn’t see their future at this job. Temp workers are more vulnerable to being exploited in a workplace than their permanent counterparts, which also discourages folks from seeing themselves there long-term.
“Our proposal to Compass Group on the practice of bringing in temp workers could help mitigate the chances of a similar situation as what happened at the Senate Republican meeting happening at other important meetings at sites ranging from the World Bank to agencies like the NIH. Compass Group must recognize the importance of this issue more than ever and address this at the bargaining table.”
—UNITE HERE International Union President D. Taylor