Unconventional UMES Food Service Protest - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Unconventional UMES Food Service Protest

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - There was a small protest on Monday on the campus of University of Maryland Eastern Shore over the university considering a change to its food service.  As the school contemplates using a third party vendor, union representatives got their message of disapproval across through Christmas carol parodies.

Jeff Pittman is a spokesman for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

"Worker's met with the president late last week and we are hopeful that we can reach a deal to protect these jobs from being contracted out and pushing these workers below poverty wages," said Pittman.

The school is considering the third party vendor for food service as a money saving alternative.  Pittman said that it is a decision that could impact about 70 jobs.  The current workers could reapply for their positions, but they would have much lower wages if hired by the new third party.

"There's families involved here.  People have bills to pay, houses to pay for, and they might lose those.  And the health insurance and whatnot, the benefits will be gone too.  So that is a very big concern for these people," said Joe Hartman, AFSCME President of Local 1833.

UMES officials said they have not yet begun to review proposals from third parties for their food service industry and there is no deadline for a decision to be made on this issue.

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