By Claire Harlin
Fair officials voted on Oct. 11 to award a contract to Premier Food Services, Inc. for food and beverage services at the fairgrounds for up to a 10-year period. The decision to renew Premier’s contract was made amid pleas by the fairgrounds’ food service workers’ union for a job security agreement and affordable insurance premiums.
Union spokeswoman Brigette Browning represented about 10 food service workers at the Oct. 11 meeting, and even more union workers voiced concerns at the 22nd District Agricultural Association board’s August meeting.
Karen Goldstein, a Del Mar resident and service worker of 13 years, said “we don’t want to be left behind. We don’t want to be wondering next year if we are going to have a contract.”
Ag. board members said it is in the hands of Premier Food Services, Inc. to negotiate a fair contract with its employees, and the board should not interfere with the terms of the contract unless a problem arises.
Mark Anderson, general manager of Premier at the fairgrounds, assured the board that he will negotiate a new contract with workers, whose previous contract expired in January.
If we vote to approve the contract with Premiere,” said board member Frederick Schenk, “I want to know they are in good faith negotiations.”
Officials said food and beverage is the second-largest contract they execute.
Board President Adam Day said he hopes Premier comes to terms “quickly and amicably.”