2015-06-11 / Front Page

Aramark snags Yosemite concession contract

A sign supporting Unite Here Local 19 adorned an employee's window in Yosemite National Park in February. (Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)A sign supporting Unite Here Local 19 adorned an employee's window in Yosemite National Park in February. (Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 11 a.m. - The National Park Service has selected food and service giant Aramark to replace Delaware North Companies as Yosemite's prime contract holder, the Park said today. 

"Wow," said Unite Here Local 19 union representative Debra Rockwood when told of the announcement. "This will be a big change after all the years Delaware North has been there."

One year ago, multiple Delaware North workers and Unite Here members rallied in the Park to ask NPS officials to guarantee their positions if the bid process resulted in a new operator. No such agreement was ever reached, however. 

The Yosemite concession contract is the National Park Service's biggest, and was worth more than $145 million a year in gross revenue in 2014.

Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher issued a statement today saying he is "very excited" about the development. 

While announced by the Park, the bid process was overseen by an independent NPS team. The decision selecting Aramark "will be transmitted to Congress for a 60-day notice period as stipulated by law," today's announcement said.

If no challenges emerge, the new contract will take effect on March 1 of next year and remain in effect for at least 15 years.

Rockwood, who works for the union that represents more than 1,200 Park workers, said union staffers already have a relationship with the new concessioner.

"Unite Here has many contracts with Aramark (at other locations)," Rockwood said. "Hopefully, everybody (in Yosemite) will be able to keep their jobs."

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bye bye tourism bureau

bye bye tourism bureau

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