By Jason McCormick
Silicon Valley Business Journal
Only days after approval of unionization among Facebook Inc.’s contract bus drivers, the Unite Here union has called for Intel Corp. to protect the jobs of cafeteria workers who may be impacted by a change in catering companies running the facility.
Though the labor organizer claimed that Intel could require Guckenheimer Services LLC, its new corporate food manager, to retain the 70 employees of Bon Appetit Management Co. that currently serve in Intel’s cafeterias, the chipmaker said it cannot insert itself in a dispute between the union and employers.
Both sides of the disagreement said in separate statements to the Silicon Valley Business Journal Monday that new employment opportunities are available for existing workers.
Unite Here said that the Bon Appetit’s employees at Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara were informed that a new manager will take over food services for Intel Thursday. Seventy cafeteria workers could lose their jobs on Thanksgiving Day, according to the labor union.
“This is a story about the hardship that these workers will suffer because of Intel’s inaction,” said Enrique Fernandez, the president of Unite Here Local 19 and a member of Working Partnerships USA’s board of directors.
Derecka Mehrens, the executive director of Working Partnerships USA, also supports the cafeteria workers. “It’s incumbent upon Intel to make sure its employees, contract or otherwise, are treated fairly and responsibly,” she said in a statement to the Business Journal. “The company’s lack of action is a stark reminder of the realities faced by Silicon Valley’s invisible workforce, who serve, protect and clean at these companies.”
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