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September 21, 2009

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CUPE defends public food service at Coquitlam arena

COQUITLAM—CUPE will address City Council tonight to counter a flawed proposal to contract out food services at the new Coquitlam Sports Centre.

A private consultant’s study claims the city could lose money if food and beverage services stay in house. But CUPE researcher Blair Redlin pointed out to the city’s recreation committee last week that those figures simply don’t add up. He also pointed out that the nine CUPE 386 civic employees currently providing the services weren’t even consulted. Managers simply informed the employees that their jobs would be contracted out.

Redlin says Restaurant Office Intelligence based its estimates and revenue projections on an inflated number of hours and an inaccurate wage calculation to conclude that privatization would save Coquitlam money.

CUPE 386 president Ken Landgraff points out that the new arena complex offers an opportunity for the in-house service to expand. He said the CUPE members are looking forward to the opportunity to expand the menu with healthy and popular food choices that can bring in revenue for the city at the same time. It can be win-win, he said – good food for the patrons and solid service for the City. “Our members will focus on healthy food and beverage choices for Sports Centre users, while making money for the City at the same time – whether it’s for minor hockey, curling or lacrosse – patrons at the new Sports Centre deserve high-quality food services.”

CUPE will address the council at a 7pm meeting Monday at city hall (3000 Guildford Way, Coquitlam). Please come out to show your support for our food service workers.


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