As bargaining resumed today, the President of the Union representing 140 Laurentian University food service workers, members of CUPE 895-05 had a message for the multinational corporation that holds the contract to feed students, faculty, and staff on campus.

“It’s time for poverty-level wages to come off the menu at Laurentian,” said CUPE National Representative Michael Brady.

“In a single day, the CEO of Compass Group earned as much as a Laurentian food service worker earns in a year. Poverty-level wages don’t support families, they don’t support our community and Compass is running out of time to get serious about bargaining a fair contract with our members,” he added.

After more than a year without a current collective agreement, the parties are meeting today with the assistance of a provincially-appointed conciliation officer. No further talks are currently scheduled, and Brady warned that unless Compass Group takes bargaining seriously today, “there exists a very real risk of a labour disruption in a few weeks.”

If the parties fail to reach an agreement today, either side can declare an impasse and request a “no board” report from the Ministry of Labour. Once the report is issued, it sets in motion a countdown to either party being able to declare a work stoppage 17 days from the date of issue.

“We believe an agreement can be reached if both parties are ready to sit down and do the hard work of negotiating an agreement both sides can live with, but we require a willing partner across the table for that to happen,” said Brady.