UC Davis meals still union free

Sodexho food-service workers at UC Davis and local social justice groups have been busy organizing this year. They want the company’s 500 workers to become university employees, represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299.

UC Davis administrators are backing Sodexho in fighting unionization. But workers have won some concessions. For example, non-student (career) workers, about a third of the Davis total, got pay raises of $1 to $3 per hour in mid-October. Hourly wages of student workers stay the same.

Meanwhile, the company has agreed with UC Davis to pay a greater share of the health-care coverage for the career workers, plus a monthly $100 stipend to help offset their living costs in general, effective January 1, 2008.

But a number of career workers who got wage hikes also had their hours cut, said Max Alper, lead organizer for the AFSCME Local 3299. The union represents food-service employees at every other UC campus and also five medical centers.