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Campus food service and conference center workers who work for Compass Group marched on June 3 for fair wages for every worker back on the job. Cooks, cashiers, and housekeepers who survived the COVID-19 pandemic called on Compass Group to do better.
Compass released the following statement:
“‘I’ve worked as a cashier and on the food service line for 11 years, and I still only make $14.05 per hour,’ said Veronica Reyes, a Compass worker who lives in Evanston. “I’m so happy that the pandemic is ending and I can be with the students again. But it’s hard to raise a family on so little pay.’
“According to the MIT Living Wage calculator, a single adult in Cook County would need to earn $28.58 to support themselves and one child, without medical expenses.
“’I started as a dishwasher in 2008, and worked my way up to grill cook, and now I’m a driver,’ said Melvin Davis, a Compass worker. ‘I love my job, but $14.75 isn’t enough for me, my daughter, and my son. Now it’s time for Compass to finally pay us what we deserve.’
“The starting rate for Compass cafeteria cooks at Northwestern is $14.45 per hour. The average wage of Compass workers at Northwestern covered by UNITE HERE Local 1 labor contracts was $15.48 per hour in the first quarter of 2021.
“Compass Group reported an operating profit of $380 million in 2020. Compass workers at Northwestern have not received a raise since 2019.
“UNITE HERE Local 1 represents approximately 400 Compass food service and conference center workers at Northwestern.”