Union files grievance with Hospitality

Representatives from Unite Here Local 11 union and USC Hospitality employees met with Hospitality officials at the Radisson Hotel on Tuesday to discuss the issue of hiring subcontractors for summer housing work.

Denied · A USC employee who works at the Annenberg House was not allowed into the meeting with USC Hospitality on Tuesday night. - Robin Laird | Daily Trojan

For the last 20 years, USC Hospitality employees who worked during the school year have been given the opportunity to work for USC Housing during the summer, according to representatives from the union. Both Hospitality and Housing are part of USC Auxiliary Services.

This year, however, employees said they were told USC Housing  is planning to subcontract employees from an outside company, cutting the number of USC employees who will have jobs over the summer from nearly 600 workers down to approximately 40.

USC Hospitality Director Kris Klinger, however, said as far as he is aware, employees will have job offerings and Housing is not planning to subcontract.

“Every year the university slows down as students go away for the summer and a number of venues are closed. This is not something new,” Klinger said. “The staff will be offered the opportunity to work with other USC Auxiliary Services or other summer employment. No one is planning to subcontract and maybe there will be a few less positions because of the opening of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.”

This year’s Hospitality workforce is larger than in previous years because of job openings in the Campus Center, so more employees will be competing for summer jobs.

Nonetheless, the union filed a formal grievance to ask Hospitality for specific information about the kind of work employees will be offered and why subcontracting will be occurring. This grievance was presented at the meeting Tuesday.

About 40 USC Hospitality employees walked to the Radisson with union representatives Tuesday, but were not allowed into the meeting room for about 30 minutes. Hospitality representatives informed union representatives only five to seven employees would be allowed inside, as large numbers would not foster a productive atmosphere in a room with a maximum occupancy of about 30.

Most employees were eventually allowed inside the room to hear the proceedings, but others were left waiting outside after the doors closed. When these employees attempted to enter, they were denied, as Hospitality said the room was at maximum capacity.

Even though most of the workers will be rehired when school resumes in the fall, according to union representatives, many employees said they rely on work at USC during the summer to support their families.

“Many of them have children and mortgages to pay,” said Jeimmy Summers, a cashier. “Some are already working two jobs and pulling double shifts. The exhaustion and stress is taking its toll for many employees and their families as they wonder how they will provide for their families this summer.”

The meeting at the Radisson followed a union meeting last Saturday, which took place at the United University Church. Employees who attended that meeting demanded answers from union president Tom Walsh about how he was reacting to this issue.

According to Summers, information about possible job openings off campus was relayed to employees who attended.

6 replies
  1. Griz
    Griz says:

    There is a petition going around to fight this issue please sign. Help our hospitality family we must stay united. Fight on!!!

  2. Jeimmy
    Jeimmy says:

    Thank you all for your support!

    @ Max, I saw you at the meeting and meant to introduce myself, I couldn’t find you after the meeting.
    Thank you for being there, I am glad you got to hear what’s going on.

    @Ian, no one knows anything. Both the Union and USC haven’t given us any satisfying answers. Its more like beat around the bush in hopes we’ll forget all about it. We haven’t forgotten that we have children to feed and no insurance for three months if my child gets sick. We won’t have the money or the hours to keep our insurance or pay out of pocket. Its not just about fighting for a job we’ve always had but its also about providing and protecting our families as well.

    USC talks about “the health and well-being of our students”, let’s not forget about the health and well-being of our employees as well. We have to step it up and show WE ARE the greatest University in the nation, not only are we great in academics and sports but let’s be greater in the way we treat our trojan family, our hard working brothers and sisters. Thanks again for all your support.

    Fight On!

  3. rafael
    rafael says:

    Trojan alert
    To whom ever will listen ..

    Recently local 11 has filed a grievance againt usc on behalf of usc hospitality workers . The complaint on our behalf as a union is the officials of usc after 20+ years has chosen to use an outside company or agancy, to do the cleaning of the housing facilities this summer. Which is subcontracting, no matter how broaden the scope is. There for leaving hundreds of usc hospitality employees without a job for three months.
    Leaving people who this university depends on to feed them, serve them and hold up the prestiges name of usc, hopeless. Telling the people who treat every single person whether they be student, faculty, staff or jus a visitor like family, they are not qualified any longer to do these housing tasks. These usc diretors who were put in charge of this family are not looking out for the Trojan name. They are letting us down by not giving us answers just a bunch of bold face lies.
    Being a hospitality union employee that was in this so call meeting to discuss a solution. Was just filled with round talking lies. Sitting there with smurcks and closed minds because they have already made a decision and no one should question there actions. They werent able to give concrete evidence that they werent breaking a subcontracting aggrement per our union local 11s contract with usc.
    So I’m calling all Trojans across the board to stand up. Help us fight for our livelihood. Stand with us and helps us fight for what has been ours for decades . Our summer jobs are all we got. Don’t allow them to take that away from their family. What would Trojans before us do. We need to stand and unite. Not go gently into that good night. We need to fight, fight, fight.

    Fight on! Sincerely,
    The misunderstood

  4. Ian
    Ian says:

    Having advance notice of what the situation is would help. When I was a TA, I was only paid for 10 months, and summer funding was not available, but I knew that was the case from the beginning, so I could plan my spending accordingly. Here we are in mid-April, and the article sounds like nobody even knows what jobs are available, if any. What a terribly stressful position to be in! When you have bills every month, you need to be able to plan for every month.

  5. max
    max says:

    Having been in the meeting room myself yesterday as a student, I can say that USC could be doing a lot more to ensure the job security of its employees over the summer. You’d think a school with an endowment of $3.7 billion would be able to keep its workers from worrying about being able to feed their families over the summer.

  6. mamartinez
    mamartinez says:

    This university needs to step up the way it treats its workers–it’s laborers, contractors, and subcontractors, both here AND abroad. Every time I think USC couldn’t possibly regress a smidge more, it proves me wrong.

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