Mayo Clinic's plan to outsource its food service met with union backlash

The largest private employer in the state is facing union backlash after announcing plans to outsource its food service division. From in-room meal service to cafeteria dining, the Mayo Clinic will transition all food service to Morrison Healthcare out of Atlanta, Georgia.

A Mayo spokesperson told Fox 9 that all current food and nutrition employees will be offered similar positions with Morrison at their current rate of pay. The spokesperson also said the employees will be credited for years of service.

But SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, the union that represents many of the food service workers at Mayo, claims the hospital is trying to push out hundreds of loyal employees.

Jennifer Norgren has worked in food service at Mayo for four years. She says even if they get to keep their jobs, not being a Mayo employee will result in lost benefits.

“We like being Mayo employees,” said Norgren who listed great healthcare, tuition reimbursement and local discounts as valuable benefits of working for Mayo. “We don’t know how much of that is going to disappear.”

In a statement, a Morrison Healthcare spokesperson said, “All current, active department employees in the Mayo food and nutrition services areas will be transitioned at their current rate of pay to Morrison Healthcare effective of their transition date. Morrison also supports employee growth through comprehensive training and continued learning and development programs.”

Food service employees delivered a petition with 1,200 signatures to the human resources office. The petition asked that food service workers remain employed by Mayo, not Morrison.

Union representatives said they are meeting with Mayo Clinic officials next week to hash out details of the plan, and fight to keep their Mayo benefits.

An informational picket will be held at Mayo Clinic in Rochester on Wednesday, August 24.