Senate Republican Leader Thinks Aramark Contract Should Be Re-Vi - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Senate Republican Leader Thinks Aramark Contract Should Be Re-Visited

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - The labor union that use to represent food workers in the state prison system is warning the governor that he is playing with dynamite by continuing to use an outside contractor to supply food in that system.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick is following the story for us.

Organized labor lost 370 members when the state decided to privatize prison food services. Now the unions are turning up the heat on the governor hoping to convince him to cancel the contract with Aramark.

“I want him to cancel the contract and bring it back in house,” said Nick Ciaramitaro, AFSCME Union.

Reporter: “What if he doesn't?”

“Ciaramitaro: “What if he doesn’t? I think he's playing with dynamite. I think there’s going to be problems continuing at the prisons.

The company has had numerous contract violations, has been fined by the state $98,000 and the unions reports more than 70 employees have been canned for a variety of reasons.

The house democratic leader blames the governor and republicans for feeding these contracts to their "corporate friends."

“And here we see an ideological obsession on the part of republicans with outsourcing and privatizing, even when it ends up costing tax payers more money, even when it results in security breaches in our prisons. That is the wrong approach,” said State Representative Tim Greimel (d), House Leader.

The senate republican leader has now joined this running debate and he is not happy with the private contractor and while he does not call for an end to the contract, he does say this.

“I would definitely be revisiting the contract. You talk about maggots in food. I mean, if that was happening in a restaurant, would you go back to that restaurant? I don’t think so. And it doesn’t matter if they’re prisoners or who they are, people don’t deserve that kind of treatment and I would re-visit that in a heartbeat,” said State Senator Randy Richardville (r), senate republican leader.

For his part the governor continues to weigh his options, clearly termination of the contract is on the table.

“I think it’s a good sign. I think the governor is beginning to see the light,” said Nick Ciaramitaro, AFSCME Union

These union officials are hoping that the light will eventually result in their members getting their jobs back.
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