St. Louis Public Radio News
7:38 am
Thu February 12, 2009

Food service company accused of union busting

St. Louis, MO – Representatives of the Service Employees International Union are accusing the food service Chartwells of union busting.

Chartwells was awarded the $18-million dollar contract last year to provide meals for the St. Louis Public School District.

SEIU Political Director John Cross says Chartwells is skirting benefit obligations.

"See what they do is if an employee works six and a half hours they get medical benefits," he explained. "So what Chartwells has been doing is cutting people's hours by half and hour and taking them off the medical benefits."

Cross also says he's also witnessed students being forced to perform cafeteria jobs. A spokesman for Chartwells denies that students are performing union jobs. The cutbacks, he says, are a result of declining enrollment in public schools.