Laurentian’s labour disruption results in student layoffs

Student layoffs

By Carolina Keen, Contributor

As Laurentian’s labour disruption continues, the obstacles students are facing continue to add up.

With classes canceled and a picket line deterring visitors, there are a lot less people on campus. As a result, Laurentian’s food services have cut back their operating hours and even closed some locations on campus.

Café Bistro, Marché Alphonse, Topper’s Pizza, and the Tim Horton’s Kiosk in Frasier have closed their doors until classes resume. C-Store, Quesada, Starbucks, Subway, and the Tim Hortons’ in Alphonse and Classroom Building have all shortened their operating hours.

To adapt to these new hours and accommodate the decrease in demand for food on campus, Food Services made the decision to temporarily lay off employees.

Zoée Domoulin, a first year Law and Justice student and Subway employee, says employees knew it was a possibility before the strike was officially announced.

“All employees had to sign this paper saying they might get laid off due to the strike, even employees who weren’t students,” she says.

Dumoulin was given the news on Thursday that she would indeed be laid off until the strike was over.

“They were really nice about it,” Dumoulin says, “They said that as soon as they can get me back in they will and that they understand students are short on money and what not and that they were sorry about it. It was done in a very professional way.”

“[But] when I come back, when I go back to work, to compensate my hours am I gonna have to work a lot and then have to struggle with my homework?”

Though Dumoulin loves her job and is excited to get back to work, she is anxious about returning. “It just sucks.”

SGA’s Pub Downunder and Voyageur cafe have followed suit and shortened their hours during the strike as well. They temporarily laid off all pub employees with the exception of a work-study student and the manager.

When asked about what factors that went into the SGA’s decision to lay off employees during the association’s “Ask me Anything” Facebook Live on October 4th, President Roch Goulet said, “There’s a lot of factors. We didn’t want to force students to cross the picket line out of will. There is also the question around the need and demand at the pub. There’s not many students on campus and there really is a student service to have that pub and that space so there had to be some restrictions.”

Work study students employed by the SGA have been playing a big role in the SGA’s operation during the strike.

“There are work studies and this is funding from the school and the government to assure students do have work so we had to commit to this jobs,” says Goulet, “and we’re glad that we’re able to cover our bases in each of the services we have such as V desk, cafe and the pub.”

Goulet sympathized with students but reiterated that, “As for the need, and I understand it’s really unfortunate that it’s happened, there isn’t the need right now so it was just a financial decision for that but we will assure that once school is back we’ll make sure that you’ll still have your position when you get back.”

VP of Policy, Abraham King, added “It’s a temporary pause kind of thing.”

Administration and LUFA are in their fourth consecutive day of talks after the administration put two proposals on the table October 1st.

Feature photo taken by Mackenzie MacDonald.

The Lambda will continue to post updates on the strike as it unfolds at