The Metropolitan Food Service Inc. is causing ruffles at City College once again. This time for reasons other than their poor food inspection grade or complaints on CCNY Secrets. Instead, CCNY is considering a change in food vendor and students are rallying behind the workers. The cafeteria has had a tumultuous relationship with the students of CCNY. Two years ago it was shut down for 62 health violations for things like contaminated food, evidence of mice present in the facility’s food area, sewage-associated flies in the food, and an absence of hand washing facilities in the food preparation area. Health violations aside, students have been complaining about the quality of the food for years. So, President Coico has finally decided the cafeteria is in need of a makeover and is entertaining contracts from new food services.
“Workers shouldn’t be punished for Metropolitan’s failures”
Political Science student and workers rights activist Russell Weiss-Irwin has been circling a petition to protect the current staff. According to his petition, “the CCNY Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation’s (AEC) Request for Proposals (RFP) only stipulates that a new ‘contractor must interview all members of the previous food service vendor’s staff who are interested in working for Contractor’ (RFP, Form 4—Food Service Operations Contract, Section 5.2.10), not that the new contractor must hire them.” To put this plainly, the new contractor (whoever they may be) is required to interview and consider all the current workers but is not obligated to hire them. Saltamontes writes, “I don’t oppose changing food service contractors by any means– all I’m saying, and all the petition says if you read it, is that workers shouldn’t be punished for Metropolitan’s failures. They should be able to keep serving us under new management.” Our previous Student Government President Melody Aguilar weighed in on the debate on Facebook, “the cafeteria has been highly debated. From the increase in prices, poor service, and bad ratings during my tenure in USG, students desperately wanted a change. I understand jobs are important but a new contractor may give jobs to better people, which might be better service for better food for better prices. Being able to vet old workers can ensure quality service. If the students want a change and change could improve service, why not?”
Two years ago [the cafeteria] was shut down for 62 health violations
To which current student Ombudsman Caloz Pashmina answered, “I believe that Metropolitan’s tenure as the main contractor of our food services has been abysmal and the guidelines that they established onto the workers allowed the perpetuation of poor services. But we cannot simply blame the entire workforce for poor leadership.” There is a general consensus among the students that the cafeteria is in dire need of a new vendor. But whether or not the workers need to lose their jobs may be up to you! Comment below with your thoughts.
Find the Request for Proposal here
Sign the petition here