UGSDW Begins Unionization of the Spencer Grill
GRINNELL, IOWA — The Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) yesterday filed a petition on behalf of workers at the Spencer Grill to become their legal bargaining representative. Once accepted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), both the union and the college will work with the Board on the details of the election, which will held sometime in January.
“Expanding the union to cover the Spencer Grill workers is a valuable process,” said Quinn Ercolani, chairman of the Committee for the Expansion of Representation. “It allows more student workers to be represented in fair and equitable negotiations with the College.”
To file a petition, at least 30% of the 80 or so workers at the Spencer Grill had to sign cards stating their interest in a union. If workers vote to become a part of the union, the number of workers UGSDW represents would increase by 25%, meaning that one in every five Grinnell students would be represented by the union. The election will be conducted by secret ballot, and overseen by a field agent of the NLRB.
Cory McCartan, president of UGSDW, is hopeful the process will go smoothly. “The college has already raised wages at the Spencer Grill to $9.25 and hour, and so this really isn’t just about money. It’s about giving student workers a voice.”
Ercolani agrees. Workers “deserve to be heard by the college,” he says, “especially given the nature of the institution and the community we are a part of.”