At the University of Miami, Chartwells employee Betty Ashbury was fired because she let someone use the restroom. As a university dining hall worker, Ms. Betty mistakenly let a student pass without having him pay and even though he only used the restroom, corporate was refusing to rehire her. But yesterday after much pushing from the students and community, Ms. Betty was rehired by Chartwells.
The firing of Ms. Betty shows a larger problem with the contracting system in place at the University of Miami. The workers, employed by the food service contractor Chartwells, are “at-will” employees and can be fired at any time, without notice. The workers have no job security; a university that prides itself on higher learning and thinking should treat its workers with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Without the support of the community and the students holding a rally, including a petition signed by over 3,000 people calling for Chartwells to rehire Ms. Betty, she might have never been reinstated. Many of the workers are organizing to form a union so this injustice does not occur again. The students are very supportive of their effort as well as many in the community who feel the university is unfairly looking the other way on workers rights.
Below are some of the pictures from October 23rd’s rally to rehire Ms. Betty.