Workforce

Compass Group lays off 230 foodservice workers at Northwestern University

These employees had been furloughed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Around 230 employees of Compass Group at Northwestern University were permanently laid off on Monday as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are taking this step today as we have recently been advised that Northwestern’s Fall Quarter will see reduced traffic in the school’s food service locations, including retail, catering, dining and concessions across both campuses due to the social distancing measures, reduced density requirements and current guidance from federal and state officials,” Jennifer Byrdsong, vice president of operations for Compass Group at Northwestern, said in a statement. “This will substantially impact the on-campus population. Unfortunately, there will not be enough demand to support past levels of staffing.”

All of these employees, who had been furloughed since March, will receive health benefits through Sept. 20 or as set by their collective bargaining agreement, according to the statement.

Byrdsong spoke with FoodService Director last month about some of Northwestern’s dining plans for the fall, which included operating dining halls using three distinct tiers of service, depending on the size and layout of the hall.

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