Tell Emory to support its Food Service Workers during COVID-19!

Emory University, President Claire E. Sterk

About 200 of Emory University’s Food Service workers currently have no promise of a pay check for the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis. Not only are they facing this precarity and uncertainty in an already difficult time, but they also cannot apply for unemployment benefits because they have not been officially laid off.

It is unacceptable that Emory, an institution with a $7 billion endowment and a purported commitment to medicine and public health, would place these workers in such a vulnerable position during a pandemic. We are calling on Emory University to continue paying these workers at their average rate of pay prior to the campus closure, and to ensure that their benefits are maintained as well.

Our community could not function without our food service workers—Emory works because they do. Please stand in solidarity with them by adding your name to this petition. If you are an organization that would like to add your name to the letter below, please email emoryunite@gmail.com


Petition by

To: Emory University, President Claire E. Sterk
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned members and supporters of the Emory community, are writing to urge Emory to collaborate with Bon Appétit to ensure that Emory’s food service employees continue to receive their pay and benefits throughout the COVID-19 crisis. About 200 of Emory University’s Food Service workers currently have no promise of a paycheck for the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis. Not only are they facing this precarity and uncertainty in an already difficult time, but they have also not been officially laid off, meaning that they cannot even apply for unemployment benefits. If they are laid off, they will lose their health care.

It is unacceptable that Emory, a nonprofit institution with a $7 billion endowment and a purported commitment to medicine and public health, would place these workers in such a vulnerable position during a pandemic. We ask that in collaboration with Bon Appétit, Emory ensures that these workers will be protected throughout the duration of the campus closure. In their COVID-19 FAQ, Emory states that “regular faculty and staff employed by Emory University will be paid as usual for the current anticipated duration of the social distancing protocols, no matter their role within Emory and the altered learning/working environment.” We are asking Emory to include food-service workers in this promise.

Bon Appétit, a subsidiary of Compass Group, is the third-party company that Emory subcontracts to hire and pay the service workers across campus, from the DCT to Cox. It is unjustifiable for Emory to betray its commitment to these workers by hiding behind the decisions of its subcontractor, Bon Appétit/Compass Group. We are calling on Emory University to continue paying these workers at their average rate of pay prior to the campus closure and to ensure that their benefits are maintained as well.

Our food service workers are valued members of our community without whom the university could not function. We are asking that Emory support these workers for as long as this crisis persists.

Sincerely,
EmoryUnite! and Emory YDSA