Mayo food service workers plan picket over outsourcing decision

A union representing workers at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic will picket later this month over the system's decision to switch food service vendors, according to a KIMT report.

The Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota told the TV station food service workers and supporters will picket over the outsourcing decision Aug. 24 in front of Saint Marys hospital campus in Rochester.

SEIU alleges Mayo has failed to provide basic information about how, why and when it made the decision to switch from Sodexo to Morrison Healthcare for food and nutrition services, according to the report.

"It is unacceptable that Mayo continues to deny basic information workers and their union need to know about this decision," SEIU President Jamie Gulley said, according to KIMT. "This information is especially important as now it seems the decision may have been made under the cloud of dubious ethics. Workers, and the whole community, deserve to know what really went on to bring Mayo to the point where they decided to take 700 dedicated employees and move them out of the Mayo family."

Food service workers have presented Mayo with a petition, asking the system to reconsider the outsourcing decision, according to KIMT. The union contends the petition was signed by more than 95 percent of food service workers.

Mayo confirmed it has received the union's petition. In the meantime, the system said in a statement, it is awaiting the four scheduled negotiation sessions with SEIU later this month and next, and will review the petition.

Mayo has also said it was reviewing a formal complaint filed by the union and will respond as the system deems appropriate. In the complaint, SEIU alleges Mayo's decision to switch food service vendors was "primarily influenced" by Carol Gorman, Mayo's food services administrator.

"The union believes Carol Gorman has a conflict of interest due to a long standing personal relationship with a Morrison executive," SEIU contends, citing Mayo's conflict of interest policy from its employee handbook.

As far as the outsourcing decision, Mayo said, "Currently, Mayo Clinic has multiple approaches to food and nutrition services across our campuses. This change is about creating efficiency and consistency, and ensuring the highest quality possible for the food and nutrition services throughout Mayo Clinic. Our focus is on supporting our food service teams throughout this transition."

 

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