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Incoming student union alleges SFUO has begun to close its businesses, lay off staff

The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) has denied that they are closing and liquidating  the student business Cafe Alt, amid allegations in a statement from the incoming University of Ottawa Student Union (UOSU) that they have begun closing their affiliated businesses and liquidating several assets.

The SFUO stated in a Feb.14 email addressed to the student body that the union would transition services and assets over to the new UOSU in a manner that would limit disruption to customers or employees.

A post on Cafe Alt’s Instagram account confirmed that the business will be closing permanently on March 7. The Instagram post has since been deleted, however, a Facebook post claims the management at the cafe is interested in working with the UOSU to re-open the business at a later date. No other SFUO-owned business have made similar public statements.

In the statement released on Feb. 28 via Facebook, the UOSU said that they were not officially informed of the SFUO’s plans to close the cafe and learned about the news through social media. The statement also accuses the SFUO of liquidating SFUO staff and assets.

The UOSU claimed in an email to the Fulcrum that the SFUO made no effort to communicate with the incoming union until Feb. 28 after the announcement of Cafe Alt’s closure.  

“Both parties agreed to open and transparent communication throughout the transition process,” said a representative of the UOSU in an email to the Fulcrum. “The SFUO has failed to maintain open communication with us and we have been left in the dark regarding most of their plans.”

Paige Booth, Acting President of the SFUO,  rejected the UOSU’s accusations in an email to the Fulcrum and claimed the SFUO has been working with the UOSU to minimize disruption to student services.

“The Cafe is closing due to resignation (of the management) and at this precarious time of the SFUO with no promise of financial stability we are unable to hire at this time,” said Booth.

A follow-up Facebook post by the SFUO confirms that the cafe will be closing but provides no further details on the SFUO’s transition plans.

This article will be updated as necessary.