5 Things
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Driver strikes are hitting more Sysco distribution centers, hampering deliveries to customers like schools and hospitals.

5 things: Sysco driver strikes spreading to more locations

This and how a slow hiring process is hampering dining hall staffing at Michigan State are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. Sysco driver strikes spreading to more locations

Driver strikes are hitting more Sysco distribution centers, hampering deliveries to customers like schools and hospitals. The latest broke out recently in New England, where the union that represents the drivers says 300 employees have walked off the job at the company's warehouse in Plympton in Massachusetts. This follows previous actions at Sysco warehouses in Upstate New York and Arizona. Sysco says it's brought in third-party replacement drivers and is operating a 24/7 will call operation for customers.

Read more: Strike against national food distributor Sysco started in Syracuse. Now it’s spreading

  1. Slow HR process, unresponsive applicants hamper Michigan State Dining’s staffing

The nine dining halls spread across the Michigan State University (MSU) campus traditionally employed around 1,500 students but this month it’s only about 500 as hiring has been slowed by a time-consuming, manual HR process and unresponsive applicants, according to Student Life & Engagement Chief Communications Officer Kat Cooper. “It takes three weeks to hire a student team member," Cooper said. "It takes us six weeks to hire an on-call and full-time team members at the university take even longer to hire," even as nearby restaurants say that their applicants can expect about a one week wait between applying and beginning their first shift. Since Aug. 1, the MSU Culinary Services Dept. had received 984 applications of which 351 have been contacted for interviews or background checks but have not responded. Since they began reviewing the new applications, MSU has hired 379 new employees.

Read more: An HR bottleneck leaves dining hall jobs unfilled, despite abundance of applications

  1. Suit to block repayment of “excess wages” paid to school district employees goes forward

A lawsuit claiming a move by the Hilton County Schools in Alabama to recoup purportedly excess wages paid to service staff amounts to an "illegal act" cleared its first hurdle when Judge Sibley Reynolds rejected Hilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin’s motion to dismiss the suit filed by two district employees. Christie Payne, a lunchroom manager at Verbena High School, was told she owes $23,465.40, dating back to the 2016-2017 school year while Shellie Smith, who is married to a school board member and a district employee for 19 years, received a letter demanding she repay over $33,000 it said she was overcompensated as a result of repeated payroll errors. While Payne and Smith are the only employees named in the lawsuit, other employees say they also received similar letters from the school system.

Read more: ‘The superintendent is not king’: Judge will allow lawsuit by Chilton County school employees to move forward

  1. Sodexo gives free gas to Florida healthcare system workers

In an effort to help staff post-Hurricane Ian, NCH Healthcare System in Naples, Fla. attained a thousand gallons of gas from food services and facilities management company Sodexo for employees working the weekend of Oct. 1. The gas was distributed to employees between 5 and 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the NCH Business Center in North Naples.

Read more: NCH Healthcare System, Sodexo provide free gas for employees working post-Hurricane Ian

  1. Delaware North acquires recreation/tour firm in Colorado

Delaware North has announced the acquisition of Red Cliff, a full-service premier outdoor recreation and adventure tour company with exclusive wedding and lodging offerings based in Colorado. The purchase makes Delaware North one of the largest operators of winter outdoor recreation and adventure tours in the United States.

Read more: Delaware North acquires Nova Guides and Camp Hale Weddings

Bonus: 20 ways to maximize your mac ‘n cheese

Contact Mike Buzalka at mike.buzalka@informa.com

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