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At UN, Dining Room Layoffs Aug 16, After School Program Will Not Be Replaced in Midtown This Fall
By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 12 -- Despite its responsibilities for planning in such places as Darfur and now Pakistan, the UN while renovating its headquarters in New York appears to have thought little through.
  As Inner City Press exclusively reported, the UN announced the closure of its after school program for the children of staff members on less than a week's notice. Today, it acknowledged it will not find a replacement location in midtown Manhattan this Fall.

Likewise, while the UN's Delegates Dining Room moved from the 4th floor to a curtained off area of the cafeteria, no thought was given to how diners could get to the new location. With business declining, the UN's contractor Aramark said they would close the DDR from August 6 to September 20.

After Inner City Press and then others asked questions about the treatment of the workers, the workers were told it would stay open. Then, an August 10 letter said it will close on August 16. Click here to see the letter.

Even a UN spokesperson has opined that this will lower the workers' morale. But the Capital Master Plan and Department of Management do not appear to care, at least to the workers.

UN's Ban and CMP Advisory Board, layoffs not shown

Here is the Department of Management's August 12 “Update on the after-school programme” --

Posted: Thursday, 12 August 2010, New York | Author: DM

You may recall that the after-school programme that was run in the Secretariat had to be cancelled at the end of the school year in June 2010 as it was not deemed safe to accommodate children in an active construction site.

A meeting was held yesterday to brief the parents on the progress that the Secretariat made in identifying alternative arrangements.

For this fall, OHRM explored the option of including the children in the UN after-school programme at the United Nations International School (UNIS). Final approval for the additional spaces in this after-school programme is expected in the last week of August from UNIS administrators. The 22 children who were enroled [sic] in the 2010 after-school programme already attend UNIS until 3 p.m. each day.

The Secretariat will continue to work with concerned parents to facilitate registration in the UNIS after-school programme for the fall term.

For the longer term, the Secretariat will continue to explore alternate options, including a location in midtown, which despite concerted efforts proved not to be feasible for the fall 2010 term.

  This is the UN-inverted pyramid style: key phrase left for the end: not feasible. Great planning. Watch this site.
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At UN, Six Week Layoff Imposed on Food Workers, Waterless Bar & CMP's Spooky Routes, Part Two

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 29 -- While the UN preaches about increasing employment and the dignity of labor, in its headquarters building twenty more workers, among the lowest income on the campus, are about to be summarily laid off.

  Cooks and waiters in what remains of the Delegates' Dining Room have this week been told that they will no be needed, at least between August 6 and September 20, with the UN General Debate begins.

In a series of interviews with those impacted, it was pointed out to Inner City Press that the UN's Delegates' Dining Room never went on furlough before, nor were people laid off “until Ban Ki-moon.” Others blamed Ban's chief of Management, Angela Kane.

Inner City Press pointed out that the likely excuse will be the Capital Master Plan reconstruction. Already the Delegates' Dining Room was moved from the fourth floor of the Secretariat Building down to a curtained off portion of the first floor cafeteria. Twenty people were jettisoned during that move, a waiter told Inner City Press. “Now, twenty more.”

While those impacted work for the UN's contractor Aramark, they point out that Aramark signed a new deal with the UN knowing full well about the Capital Master Plan. More than one of them asked, “Is that contract being changed now?” Watch this space.

  To be constructive, non-UN customers of the Delegates' Dining Room can no longer easily access it, as they are not allowed in through the 42nd Street gate. There is good food, but not good enough to justify an obstacle course...

UN's Ban and rosy CMP: spooky routes and layoffs not shown

At the other end of the UN campus, the supposed replacement of the Delegates' Lounge is a mere metal booth with locked up liquor bottles and no running water. There's been walk of it moving out from the drab area by computer terminals to the front of the second floor, windowless but at least more centrally located. But it has yet to happen.

  “The UN is dying,” more than one person has said. Another joked, it's a wonder that this didn't make it into Inga Britt Ahlenius' end of assignment report.

  Finally, for now, the route from the UN's No Whistleblower press zone to the Security Council has gotten even more surreal, with thick cables running from the ceiling of the garage reporters and others pass through. Even this route is now under fire, with CMP chief Adlerstein planning construction right at the entrance to the basement area the Security Council is in.

  Another door is being prepared. But Adlerstein hasn't spoken to the press or taken questions in a long time -- perhaps understandably. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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