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Union schism leads to criminal charges against Aramark

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The Workers United union has filed criminal charges with the Philadelphia Police Department against food-service giant Aramark, alleging that the company has pocketed union dues deducted from employees’ paychecks.

Aramark manages concessions at Citizens Bank Park, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. The company operates at 40 other arenas in the United States and Canada.

The charges stem from a union split. Earlier this year, several thousand Aramark workers left Unite Here, another union, to help form Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

Aramark claims it placed the funds in escrow until the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) instructs the company which union should get the money. The NLRB has not ruled on the issue.

Some union activists claim Aramark carefully chose its escrow strategy in order to erode union support. Aramark in turn claims the dues issue is a smoke screen in a union turf war.

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