Rochester, Minn — Hundreds of Mayo food service workers and community supporters, including multiple elected officials, held an informational picket today in front of St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. The event comes as Mayo continues to feel heat from workers, the community and elected officials over their controversial proposal to outsource their food service workers to a multi-national corporation.
“We do an important job at a very high level to make sure our patients have a good experience. If our jobs are sub-contracted, we are concerned that it will change everything,” said Burke. “We also are concerned about our families. If our health insurance doubles, will I be able to take care of health issues that come up? We are out here today because we believe the best thing for everyone would be Mayo revisiting this decision.”
The tentative agreement between Mayo and Morrison, which has not been finalized, has been met with anger and frustration from workers across Mayo and community members across Southern Minnesota. Their plan to push hundreds of loyal Mayo employees – and Rochester taxpayers — out of the company comes shortly after Mayo lobbied the state for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build the Destination Medical Center (DMC), in no small part by claiming it will bring good jobs to the area.
Earlier this month a delegation of food service workers delivered a petition signed by over 1,200 Mayo employees to Mayo HR, and last week an ad ran in the Rochester Post-Bulletin showcasing the growing support of Minnesota elected officials who are calling on Mayo to revisit their outsourcing decision.
On Monday, during the first bargaining session between the Union and Mayo, SEIU offered a major compromise to solve this crisis. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley shared why this was a great solution to ending this crisis.
“It is clear from the overwhelming show of support today that food service workers and supporters are ready to continue our fight for what is right. We believe that our offer is a ‘win-win’ for both Mayo and the food service workers who are concerned about what outsourcing their jobs would mean for their families and communities,” said Gulley. “We hope that Mayo hears the voices of their dedicated employees and considers our offer to put this controversial decision behind us and move forward in our shared goal of making Mayo as great as possible for patients, workers and the whole Rochester community.”
Hundreds of workers throughout the Mayo system have been wearing “No Subcontracting” buttons at work highlighting that the food service workers who Mayo is trying to kick off their payroll have over 5,000 years of experience in food service at Mayo, with many bringing decades of food safety expertise to their jobs. This longevity, which most doubt would be possible if the lower pay and worse health benefits of a subcontractor were brought into the hospital, helps to ensure the health and safety of patients across the Mayo system.