Emerson College Dining Services Workers Win First Union Contract

Organizing in University Food Service

Dining services workers at Emerson College in Boston celebrated the ratification of their first union contract Wednesday. The workers joined UNITE HERE Local 26 last fall after a campaign that rallied Emerson students and faculty. The four-year contract with food service provider Sodexo locks in wage increases for all workers of .75 cents a year, with some workers in some classifications receiving raises of up to $2 this year.

The contract will provide workers with a new higher-quality more-affordable healthcare plan, additional paid sick days, more full-time jobs, and a process to ensure workers are treated with dignity and respect.

“The work we do to feed the campus helps make Emerson strong. We are proud to be part of this community and to have stood together to win respect and a voice on the job,” said Bargaining Committee member and baker Donna Papastavrou.

Emerson College workers are the latest food service workers to join Boston’s Local 26, including workers at Harvard Law School, Lesley University, Mass Art, Mass Pharmacy, Northeastern University, Simmons College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Wheelock College