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Stop Captive Audience Intimidation at the University of Miami

At the University of Miami, campus workers are facing fierce intimidation for exercising their right to join a union. Just days after agreeing to respect workers’ right to choose a union through a majority signup process, Chartwells, a food service corporation owned by Compass Group, launched a vicious anti-union campaign, holding mandatory captive audience meetings every few hours and telling workers that they “just want them to know the whole story.”

But what really is the whole story behind Compass Group? Just ask Compass employees at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia where, in a demonstration of modern-day Jim Crow segregation, Compass only allowed its white employees to serve guests during private catering functions, forcing employees of color to work in the kitchen. White supervisors would take prolonged lunches while sitting at the only table designated for the Company’s employees. Since the Company also prohibited the African-American employees from leaving the premises during lunch breaks, they were forced to eat lunch in the Company’s locker room.

Use the form on the left to send President Donna Shalala a message: Chartwells workers deserve the right to join a union without fear and intimidation.

Despite workers’ repeated complaints about racial discrimination at the Comcast Center, Compass failed to take any remedial action. In fact, many workers have been demoted, stripped of their job duties, unfairly disciplined, and fired for speaking up. At the University of Miami, a majority of the workers are people of color, and they’re well aware of Chartwells’ history. Would you trust a company with this track record to give U Miami workers accurate information about their right to join a union?

Chartwells officials have told U Miami workers that the “union doesn’t believe in democracy,” and to “call the police” if a union organizer comes to the door. But if Chartwells really believed in democracy, why would they force U Miami employees to attend anti-union captive audience meetings as a condition of employment?

A company like Compass cannot be trusted to give workers a fair process. Tell U Miami President Donna Shalala to step in and demand that Chartwells immediately put an end to all captive audience meetings with workers.