Food Fight at the U.N. Have you ever gone hungry?: Food Fight at the U.N.

By spunky on Monday, May 5, 2003 - 04:07 pm:

    United Nations - "It was unbelievable, crowds of people just taking everything in sight, they stripped the place bare," said a shocked witness.
    Was it another riot in Baghdad? An incident in Kabul or the West Bank? No, it was the main cafeteria at U.N. headquarters in New York.

    On Friday, the union representing food workers at the world body called a wildcat strike. The result: none of the U.N.'s five restaurants and bars were manned.

    Earlier that day, food workers were told some employees would not receive vacation pay due them. The decision was due to the fact that the U.N.'s caterer, Restaurant Associates, had lost its services contract in a bidding contest with the Aramark Corporation. Friday was the last day for RA who ran the U.N.'s food operations for the last 17 years.

    According to several food workers, RA told the union that unpaid vacation funds would need to come from the new contractor. An Aramark executive told NewsMax that vacation pay for work performed under Restaurant Associates was not his company's responsibility. The standoff between the old and new contractors produced the surprise wildcat strike.

    High Noon

    The union brass moved quickly; they set zero hour for high noon, the height of luncheon traffic.

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan was scheduled to host a private working lunch with the members of the Security Council at one o’clock in the afternoon. Diplomats found their main courses already waiting for them upon entering the private dining room -- sans waiters and bartenders.

    However, after an intensive investigation by NewsMax, Council president Munir Akram (Pakistan) revealed that a small, skeleton staff of waiters did remain "as a courtesy" to see that the U.N. chief and the assembled diplomats "received their coffee."

    Another council ambassador in attendance confessed that Annan "was concerned" about the turn of events.

    Meanwhile, the common folks, aka the U.N. bureaucrats, found themselves locked out of the main staff cafeteria. That facility serves more than 5,000 people on average every day.

    As tensions grew and stomachs growled, the U.N. chief, in a move even Saddam Hussein would envy, declared war on the union's action and ordered his security department to reopen the cafeteria, whether or not it was staffed, according to U.N. sources who insisted on confidentiality.

    The 'No Pay Zone'

    The decision to declare the cafeteria a "no pay zone" soon rushed through the 40 acre complex like wildfire. "I have never seen anything like this, people were everywhere, taking everything in sight" explained one of several eyewitnesses who spoke to NewsMax.

    "Chickens, turkeys, souffles, casseroles all went out the door (unpaid)," said another witness. A U.N. security officer who was later called in to examine the cafeteria told NewsMax: "It is unbelievable, they even took the trays and the silverware; the place is stripped clean."

    But, once the cafeteria was cleaned out, the "bargain hunters" fanned out to search for other targets of opportunity. First, the "troops" converged on the Viennese Cafe, a popular snack bar in the U.N.'s conference center. Next on the list was the posh Delegates Dining Room, where Kofi and Company were having their private lunch.

    All that free food produced some real thirst. So why not top it off with some free drinks at the bar? What better place than the private bar in the Delegates Lounge. No bartender, but what the heck....price was right and no tipping required!

    That was where NewsMax caught up with a well-known U.S. diplomat. When asked how many free drinks he had, he replied: "I don't know, I stopped counting the bottles."

    When asked about the food melee and the U.N. chief's decision to declare the facility a "no pay zone," Annan spokesman Fred Eckhard had no comment.

    An Aramark executive told NewsMax that a rough estimate of the lifted food was between "$7,000-$9,000 wholesale" (not including furnishings and silverware) just from the cafeteria alone. He added that on Monday:"I hope we have crowds as large as the ones I saw on Friday. I also hope that next time they pay for the food."

By BIGKev on Monday, May 5, 2003 - 05:07 pm:

    And these fucks say that they're the 'civilised' of the world!?!!

    apperently a hungey diplomat is no better than Saddam (launching an aggressive first strike against and undefended property)

    really makes you wonder, huh!

    almost makes me wish i hadn't climbed done out of the trees....

    what the world needs is a serious case of disaster, make EVERYONE worry about food and shelter on a daily basis... that'll put an end to political bullshit, that in the end hasn't improved the world at all..

    "upper Class" is another term that obviously means nothing....

    "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
    Ronald Reagan (1911 - )

By wisper on Monday, May 5, 2003 - 07:09 pm:

    they're only human, and it was lunch time.
    never underestimate the power of free food.
    sounds like fun.

By Antigone on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 11:57 am:

    Will this help us "get you," spunk?

By TBone on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 12:11 pm:

    I'd have been the first one over the counter.

    Though they can keep the silverware. Who wants cafeterea silverware?

By spunky on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 12:26 pm:

    you coming to get me, tiggy?

By sarah on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 12:42 pm:

    this sounds very Onion-esque

By spunky on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 01:03 pm:

    i wish it were.

By Antigone on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 01:14 pm:

    "you coming to get me, tiggy?"


    You're such a silly bitch, spunk.

By Antigone on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 01:15 pm:

    Just using your own words. But, I guess you don't even "get you."

By spunky on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 01:28 pm:

    i was playing on words, damn

By Antigone on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 02:24 pm:

    That's all you ever do, it seems.

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