I’m a former Chartwells employee who left on my own terms for a better part-time job. You should put this story in next week’s edition of The Medium, because the sooner everyone knows the truth, the better. Because there are always two sides to the story.
Yes, UTM wants Chartwells out. No one can blame them. I worked for Chartwells for five years, so I know what really goes on. Yes, Chartwells is like a soap opera, except it’s for real. Yes, there are lazy workers—managers who let power and authority get to their heads.
The head office of Compass Group Canada puts so much pressure on managers to be unfair, like treating some employees well and others poorly, and taking revenge for bringing in the union. (Chartwells employees only get paid $11 dollars an hour. And we get screwed for statutory holiday pay.) Managers who don’t play ball with head office, like playing favourites, disappear—they’re either forced to quit or fired. Even employees disappear.
UTM should send their outrage to the head office of Compass Group Canada. At other Chartwells locations, the food is good. The North Building [Deerfield Hall] food is good because they get good-quality ingredients. In the Davis Building, head office is cheap—they only give a small budget every week, and the chefs have to work with what they have. Yes, the food is nasty, because the quality of the ingredients sucks. It’s not the chefs’ fault. You can be the best chef in the world but if the quality of the food sucks, it’s still going to be bad no matter how you cook it.
So it’s not Chartwells who needs to be nailed. It’s not the chefs’ fault, it’s not the people’s fault, it’s Compass Group Canada’s fault. We just work, they give the budget.
By the way, this coming July, Chartwells’ contract is up. Just know that if they go out and someone else takes over who can’t afford to pay even minimum wage, lots of people will be out of work—innocent workers who are truly there to serve you, the students and staff.
Andrew Michael Riess
Former Chartwells employee