Ohio State employed temporary workers on Wednesday to replace union members on strike.

University administrators said in a statement that they are not trying to replace the members of Communications Workers of America OSU local 4501, rather they are simply trying to restore the services which students have paid for and deserve. One such service which has not been restored, however, is food service in the campus dining commons.

The university had hoped to have enough temporary food service workers to run commons areas by Wednesday, but were unable to do so.

“We can’t just take anyone off the street to handle food; they need to be trained and qualified,” said Bill Hall, assistant vice president of Student Affairs.

Buckeye Express locations have been open for students throughout the strike. They have been staffed mainly by managers, he said.

Another foreseeable problem for food services is a shortage of supplies. The Teamsters union and other local delivery services have pledged their support to the striking workers and will not cross picket lines.

Hall said delivery has not been a major problem yet.

“We had a good supply on hand. We knew the strike was coming so we did have a contingency plan,” he said.

Other on-campus services are being restored gradually as temporary workers are added sporadically from various agencies in the area.

“Some days they tell us we’ll have 11 workers, then three show up,” Hall said.

Some CWA union members are also leaving the picket lines and returning to work.

Janitorial services are a priority in residence halls. Hall said it is most important to get the trash picked up and the restrooms cleaned. Meanwhile, resident advisers are still being asked to clean and take out trash.

Striking CWA members question the abilities and the intentions of temporary workers.

“They are just in it to make a few bucks, then they’re down to the corner store,” said Roddey Nagy, a CWA member in the maintenance repair shop.

“We have to be tested (for drugs) before we even start. Do these guys? I don’t think so,” said Terryl Davis, a university electrician.

Davis also said union members breaking the picket lines will be fined by the union.

The union is expected to return to the bargaining table with the university on Thursday evening.

The last offer proposed by the union to OSU is for a $1.25 raise effective July 1, with 65-cent raise in 2001 and a 60-cent raise in 2002.

The proposal does retain the demand to give the same raise to the hospital workers as the campus workers receive, which has been a major sticking point for the university.

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