September 23, 2013
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—Gilbert Pottinger and Christine Edwards both worked for Aramark as cafeteria workers for over 20 years before the company evacuated 55 Water Street abruptly. Now that they’re unemployed cafeteria workers, they’re worried about how they’re going to eat. Watch Video
Philadelphia-based, food services company, Aramark Holdings Corp., earned about $100 million in profits last year and two weeks ago filed for an initial public offering for up to $100 million in stock after going private in 2007.
Pottinger and Edwards are members with UNITE HERE! Local 100, the union that represents food service and restaurant workers in the New York area.
Pottinger said the company just skipped out, maybe out of town, without letting the workers know they were exiting, let alone offer them any severance.
“They called us back to work after [Hurricane] Sandy because the company said they were going to reopen the cafeteria but they haven’t. I don’t know why Aramark have to do that. I don’t know. That’s not good,” said Pottinger.
After Aramark’s departure a new food services company, Masterpiece Caterers, got the contract to run the cafeteria but they refused to hire Pottinger and Edwards and 26 of their fellow Local 100 members.
Edwards said she expected to be back at work after Aramark said they would reopen the cafeteria in January. But seven months later, she’s still unemployed.
“The new company doesn’t even want to talk to us or give us a chance,” said Edwards.
She hasn’t been able to get other work even though Aramark owns several food services facilities in the area.
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