New Manager Spoils
Cook’s Job, Union Action
Saves Her Bacon
YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio
Carolyn Hardnick is still on the job at the Antioch College cafeteria, where she’s worked for 36 years. That’s
because her union protected her from an arbitrary management.
Hardnick had worked as a group leader, which under the UE Local 767 contract added 5 percent to her cook’s wages.
Hardnick has worked with a dozen or so bosses over the years, but the new food services director was the first with whom she had problems.
Unwilling to take the stress, she decided to give up the group leader responsibilities.
But when she handed in the cafeteria keys and her resignation on the morning of Friday, Oct. 18, Dave Radkey told
Hardnick she couldn’t quit the group leader position without giving up her job as cook, too. Hardnick called Local 767 Pres. Virginia
Garrette and District Seven Pres. Joyce Clayborne explained to Radkey that under the contract Hardnick clearly had
two jobs — cook and group leader. Radkey wouldn’t accept this information, and sent Hardnick home. "You’re punishing her
because she gave up something stressful," Clayborne told him.
At an emergency union meeting, Local 767 members agreed to back up a grievance with immediate action. Workers and students
marched on a Board of Trustees meeting, where they were intercepted by University Chancellor Glenn Watts. He assured them the contract
would be followed; union members told him he had "a manager out of control."
Local 767 members were joined by Local 796 members, from Antioch’s McGregor School, and students for a rally at the
cafeteria before noon of Monday, Oct. 21. Union members and students walked through the cafeteria, chanting "Bring back
Carolyn!" Radkey tried to stop them, and in this effort assaulted Local 796 Chief Steward Tom Blessing. (Blessing filed a
police report but did not press charges.) The manager shut down the cafeteria and stopped serving food to students.
Early that afternoon, Radkey got the word from the college attorney: Hardnick’s jobs were in fact separable under the
contract. Hardnick returned to work the following day, with back pay, and an apology from the manager.