MAPE members raise funds for cafeteria workers


Other union members are stepping up to support state cafeteria workers who were pushed out by new, non-union company.

The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees is asking all of its members and all state employees to continue the boycott of three state-run cafeterias until all workers who want to return to their jobs are back at work.

Eighteen cafeteria workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 17, lost their jobs at three Capitol complex cafeterias in the Centennial Building, and departments of Transportation and Revenue buildings. The workers, whose last day of work was June 30, were pushed out when the state awarded the service contract to Wayzata-based Taher Inc. The company initially declined to hire any of the workers, but has since hired a few back.

“We’re asking all state employees to not use the services of these cafeterias until all of the workers who want to return are back on the job,” said MAPE Executive Director Jim Monroe. “For the governor to hire a vendor that lays off veteran cafeteria workers and takes their benefits away is simply wrong.”

Meanwhile, MAPE Local 801 stepped up to the plate with monetary support for the affected workers. The local itself gave $200 to each of the six laid-off employees in the Department of Transportation cafeteria. In addition, Local 801 held a two-day, floor-to-floor collection at the Transportation building, netting $1,752 from MAPE and AFSCME Council 5 members that was split among the six laid-off cafeteria workers.

MAPE Local 801 donated an additional $1,000 to UNITE HERE Local 17.

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