For immediate release
January 28, 2015
Actions taking place on 8 campuses to join “No Bon Pain”, a national consumer education campaign led by UNITE HERE
Today, student activists, including chapters of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), are demanding meetings with Au Bon Pain outlet managers on their campuses to discuss the company’s response to union organizing at Philadelphia Airport. Au Bon Pain has refused to give its employees at the Philadelphia Airport a fair process to organize a union. Some of Au Bon Pain’s outlets are run by franchisees.
“I’ve worked at Au Bon Pain at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) for two and a half years and make $8.95 an hour. With Au Bon Pain’s low wages, I can’t afford my basic needs”, says Roselise Eugene, a cashier with the fast food company. Ernest Cottle, an Au Bon Pain night shift worker, agrees: “I wish that I could go back to school, that’s my dream to fulfill, to go back to school and get a degree. But at the current moment, I can’t, because the wages at Au Bon Pain aren’t good enough.”
This controversy arises as #strikefastfood, Fast Food Forward and $15 Now have brought the issue of fast food jobs to the public light. Now, students on campuses that are served by Au Bon Pain or its franchisees are joining the movement to support service workers at PHL in their fight for a fair process to organize.
“Students are an important source of income for Au Bon Pain on our campuses and in our communities.
That’s why, across the country, we’re coming together to tell Au Bon Pain that we think the workers at Philadelphia Airport deserve a fair process to decide whether to form a union,” says Sam Son, a student at Rutgers University and member of USAS. “Fast food jobs are tough. Especially when you’re paid so little and aren’t treated so nicely. If students knew how badly workers are treated at PHL they wouldn’t want to spend their money at this company.”
This student effort comes alongside “No Bon Pain” a national consumer education campaign that seeks to inform Au Bon Pain customers about how the company may be breaking its promise to provide ‘healthful’ food (learn more at nobonpain.info or facebook/nobonpain).
UNITE HERE, represents approximately 270,000 hotel, food service, and gaming workers throughout the United States and Canada.