Is Senate Cafeteria Contractor Still Violating Labor Rules?

Dave Johnson

On Monday, we explained in our post, “34 Senators Stand With Senate Cafeteria Workers – And With All Workers,” how the (foreign-owned) contacting company that operates the Senate and the Capital Visitors Center cafeterias pays employees so little that they are homeless or on public assistance. The company also violates labor laws.

Last week, 34 Democratic senators issued a strongly worded open letter to the company, asking it to negotiate a “labor peace,” stop illegal anti-union activity and set the stage for ending strikes and boycotts at the U.S. Capitol and Senate.

“Employees working full time in the U.S. Senate should not be living in poverty. […] The time has come for the Compass Group to ensure Senate cafeteria workers have a model employer that addresses its workers’ legitimate concerns,” the letter says.

Well, as was the case with past strongly worded letters from senators, this one didn’t do much good.

According to Good Jobs Nation:

Today, workers fighting for “$15 and a Union” at the U.S. Capitol and Senate filed two new Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Restaurant Associates, a division of the The Compass Group.

The charges allege illegal surveillance and discrimination in the application of the company’s own discipline policy.

The latest charges of law-breaking come just after the CEO of Compass Group USAwrote a letter to US Senators claiming that “we comply with labor laws and would not tolerate intimidation or coercive tactics by our managers.”

The CEO’s letter is a response to a letter signed by 34 U.S. Senators last week calling on the company to stop illegal retaliation and allow the workers to form a union through majority sign-up. Workers at the U.S. Capitol participated in their 5th strike of the year on November 10th, calling on the company to let them form a union without interference or fear of retaliation.

“Despite what the CEO says, management continues to aggressively retaliate against workers,” said CVC cashier Kellie Duckett, “After we went on strike, our manager cut our hours and followed us around the next day. Not only that, the manager took me in her office and threatened my job. She told me to think about how I would take care of my children if I lost this job.”

So we’ll see…

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