Aramark to lay off 450 in April

U. of Md. Medical Center to offer workers jobs

February 10, 2010|By By Jamie Smith Hopkins | The Baltimore Sun

Aramark plans to lay off about 450 employees in April when the University of Maryland Medical Center starts handling its own food services and housekeeping, but the hospital said Tuesday that those workers will have the chance to keep their jobs.

The employees would not take a cut in pay or benefits if they are hired by the hospital or its affiliate, University Specialty Hospital, said R. Keith Allen, UMMC's senior vice president of human resources.

"We are in the process of interviewing all of those employees who would like to keep working here," Allen said in a statement. "We are pleased that there will be no erosion of the job base."

Philadelphia-based Aramark, which provides services ranging from cafeteria management to landscaping, laid off 113 employees in December when its concessions contract with the Baltimore Convention Center ended. It lost a bid for a new contract to competitor Centerplate.

Aramark also warned the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation last year that it would have to lay off 609 people if its concessions contract with Oriole Park at Camden Yards wasn't renewed. Orioles spokeswoman Monica Pence Barlow said the team has made no decision.

Rosalind Howard, business services manager with the Mayor's Office of Employment Development in Baltimore, said it's not yet clear how many of the Aramark employees at the convention center were hired by Centerplate. But she was glad to hear that Aramark workers at the hospital could end up staying on.

"I'm real pleased to see the hospital is taking over and they are offering these positions to people based on qualifications," Howard said. "That's going to be a good thing. And we'll work with them, certainly, in terms of anyone who doesn't meet the qualifications."

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