Thomas said Rams Head Dining Hall typically stays open during inclement weather and the next priority is to provide food service at Top of Lenoir, but hours of operation and menus may be adjusted until normal conditions return.
“We meet regularly throughout emergency operations to reassess and make sure that our operating plans are current and continuing to address the current needs,” Thomas said.
Despite the accommodations by CDS, some employees were unable to come to work and were not compensated for missed hours.
According to the new adverse weather policy enacted by the University on Jan. 1, workers must make up time off through use of their vacation hours and paid leave.
The UNControllables, a student group, organized a call-in to CDS and Aramark to protest this policy against workers.
The call-in protested policies preventing workers from being paid during power outages or inclement weather, workers not receiving free parking for commuting to work and workers being laid off during breaks.
Members of the UNControllables said high housing costs in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area mean that employees live far from campus and face a long commute.
UNControllables member Madeleine Scanlon said the student group got involved after hearing about a dining hall employee who was concerned about payment after Wednesday’s power outage and the weekend’s snow days.
“When employees can’t come to work due to weather, due to power outage, whatever the thing may be, they are obligated to use their personal or vacation time to pay themselves for that time that they are not at work,” Scanlon said.
“If those workers had to leave at three instead of five on Wednesday, they did not have a choice to just not be paid.”
Scanlon said the UNControllables created a Facebook event to organize the call-in. Sixty-four people marked that they would attend the Facebook event, which provided phone numbers and a script for participants to recite during the call-in.
Thomas said the snow meant he wasn’t at work when the call-in happened, but he was aware of it.
Mitch Xia, another member of the UNControllables, said the group works to tackle a wide assortment of political and social issues related to radical politics.
“The catalyst for the call-in was the power outage, but really the call-in was organized because of this much, much broader, much, much larger pattern of worker exploitation and abuse that stretches on for basically the entirety of the University’s history,” Xia said.
Scanlon said this situation is linked to bigger issues like gentrification of housing, language barriers within employment and employees’ inability to unionize.
“I think with this call-in and raising these issues, we also wanted to encourage people to imagine what real justice would look like,” Scanlon said.