Job Fair Held for Employees Laid Off During Contractor Change
Proponents of union call move by university “outrageous”
By Alisha VanHoose
In an attempt to assist displaced UNICCO employees, NSU teamed up with employment agency Workforce One to hold a job fair on March 23 for. Some of those who pushed for a union and feel that they lost their jobs because of it, however, are not amused.
“I think we continue to make every effort to make sure all the employees are taken care of,” said George Hanbury, Chief Operating Officer for NSU, adding that the university had been working with Workforce One and other agencies, and this was the fourth job fair it had requested to be held.
It was estimated that between 60 and 70 people attended the fair. “I did receive word that it was a very good job fair,” said Hanbury. “It was well received; there were about 15 employers there, including our own contractors.”
The fair was not well received by everyone, however.
“We were rather outraged by the whole thing,” said SEIU organizer Hiram Ruiz. “Some of the contractors are still advertising for the positions that used to belong to these people.” He went on to call the university’s move “outrageous” and “scandalous,” citing in particular that the fair included companies like Wal-Mart, “the king of bottom-dwelling employers.”
Former lead painter Steve McGonigle said that he attended the fair and saw many of the other employees that were laid off there, but the jobs offered there were not in the same vein as his experience.
“I don’t think Ray Ferrero can do anything for me unless I get my job back,” he said.
Hanbury restated that the university “cannot tell people who to hire, but we can make it possible for other employers to see if they want these individuals to work for them.” He also mentioned that the number of laid-off employees still waiting to be hired was diminishing.
McGonigle maintains that this isn’t enough, and continues to blame NSU President Ray Ferrero for the layoffs.
“All of this isn’t curing what Mr. Ferrero has done,” he said. “This isn’t going to get better, it’s just going to get worse until Mr. Ferrero does the right thing.” The right thing, as far as McGonigle and many of the other workers who were laid off are concerned, is to ensure that each employee who lost their job during the contractor job is guaranteed a new one on campus.