Aramark workers on the record: Erenia Pacheco
In light of the recent negotiations between Aramark and its workers’ union, the Voice has done a series of on the records with Hoya Court and Leo’s employees. This week, the Voice sat down with Subway worker Erenia Pacheco. More interviews can be found here.
What do you do at Subway?
Well, I do a little bit of everything. I pretty much know how to do everything from baking bread, to prepping, to being a front line cashier, to washing dishes.
What would you say the best part of your job is?
Satisfying our customers, you know, making somebody’s day. Like, sometimes they come, and they have, they look sad or, and I just make like a little joke and then make their day and they smile … [Students] are like ‘You guys are awesome. You guys are clean. You guys are outgoing. You guys have a good sense of humor. You guys make us laugh when we have a bad day.’
What would you say the worst part of your job is?
We just don’t get enough hours, that’s pretty much it. But everything else is good. It’s just the hours.
Now that there is a new contract agreement, do you think that will change?
Hopefully. I mean I haven’t heard anything about that, like how much we are going to get, a raise or anything, but I’m hoping so because we deserve it. We work hard enough.
What did you want most from the negotiations with Aramark?
All I want is just, you know respect. And you know just feel comfortable when you go to work. Before, our managers they used to be mean. Like we used to say ‘good morning,’ and they’d talk back to us. But now, now they really getting to know us, you know saying, ‘Hi’ and ‘Good morning,’ saying ‘Thank you’ for your job. They are being more nice now. They are treating us how they are supposed to treat us.
And so did this change after the agreement?
Yeah. Before, they didn’t used to like me at all because I used to stand up to them and talk like, because they used to be screaming at us, sometimes in front of customers. And I would stand up for myself, and I guess they didn’t used to like that. But if nobody does it they are going to keep doing it and throwing us in front of the bus. But I spoke. And my teammates, my co-workers, they’d back me up. So I guess they sat down and they realized like yeah, we do have to change the way we talk. Because for real, I was like, ‘We are running your restaurant,’ you know, so if it wasn’t for us it wouldn’t be running your business.
How were you involved in the negotiations process?
Well, I helped you know talk to my co-workers, telling them, asking them what was unfair that you didn’t like and they all were the same, like, ‘you need to respect all of us, you need to give us our hours,’ and I was the one that took our petition, my co-workers’ petition, to my main boss. I know—he was like in shock. He couldn’t believe it … But you know it’s cool now, you know, they are speaking to us. They are respecting us now, they changed.
Is there anything you want the students to know generally, just about anything?
I would like to thank them once again, for supporting us, for them showing us love and support, and backing us up… It feels good to know that students care more about us than our own managers. So that’s why I just want to thank all the students who took their time—missing work or class—for looking out for us. And, yeah, I just want to thank once again for supporting us all the way. I really appreciate it.