It is disappointing to learn that many Hopkins dining employees are, apparently, engaged in an adversarial relationship with Aramark.
The mistreatment detailed by several long-term employees suggests that there is much to be done to ensure that workers are regarded with the kind of consideration they are due. And, lest anyone question just how deserving they are, remember that these employees are integral to life at Hopkins. If you're an underclassman, chances are it is they who feed you.
The list of complaints varies from the seemingly bizarre -- such as being offered a chair that cannot be used -- to the flagrantly disturbing. In the latter category, while it is gratifying to know that employees will now have healthcare, a year without is simply too long. We hope that some kind of provisional healthcare was available while the details of the new contract were discussed.
On the subject of health, Aramark's policy regarding sick leave seems particularly unhelpful. Under their system, an employee who wakes up feeling ill will be reprimanded for failure to report for work unless, by some miraculous alteration of the chain of causality, he or she managed to alert the higher-ups the previous day.
This procedure could result in sick employees feeling forced to work when they should be caring for themselves. That's bad not only for them, but also for the students eating the food they handle. For reasons that obvious, in the food service industry it is vital that employees be well.
That being said, some Aramark employees are pleased with the new arrangements. Hopefully, the difference in employee satisfaction will be overcome to the benefit of all concerned, and before long.
Hopkins dining remains in a period of transition. Given that, it comes as little surprise that there have been some grievances from employees.
We will give Aramark the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are committed to their employees' welfare. But, if that proves to be a false assumption, the University should be ready to step forward on their behalf.
Dining employees are critical to the quality of life at this school, and their complaints should not be taken lightly. Let's work together to ensure that they are treated with respect both by those who pay them and those whom they serve.<?p>