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School Cafeteria Workers in Illinois Join Local 1546

May 8, 2024

On April 26, cafeteria workers in the Dolton, Ill., school district joined UFCW Local 1546 for a better life. The 30 workers are employed by Organic Life, a hospitality and food service management company.

The workers, who are employed as servers, monitors, cooks, and chefs, work at five school cafeterias (Dirksen Middle School, Caroline Sibley Elementary School, New Beginnings Learning Academy, Carol Mosely-Braun School, Diekman Elementary School, and Berger Vandenberg School). They joined our union family to gain higher wages, better benefits, and respect in the workplace, and won the right to bargain a first union contract following a successful six-month organizing campaign.

“Our organizers worked very closely with these workers to address many of their workplace concerns, including the desire to earn more than the minimum wage and the ability to gain much needed paid sick leave,” said International Vice President and UFCW Local 1546 President Robert O’Toole. “We will now work extra hard to secure a first union contract that will help to raise the industry standards for these and many other school cafeteria workers in the Chicagoland area.”

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