Thursday, April 15, 2010


In response to rampant mistreatment by food service contractor Sodexo, school cafeteria workers in Pittsgrove Township went on strike today. Since August, when school cafeteria workers began forming a union, they have been subjected to harassment and intimidation by Sodexo management. Earlier this week, the workers voted to strike. Workers are striking at Schlalick High School, Olivet Elementary School, and Deerfield Elementary.

Another strike is growing at George Mason University against Sodexo. Workers there marched through the George Mason University's North Plaza today, continuing a recent push for their right to join a union. Beginning at 6 a.m. today, the on-campus Sodexo workers went on strike, as part of a 'national week of action' against food giant Sodexo, according to Bianca Agustin, a representative for the Service Employees International Union.


A 50-person march of students, workers, and community members at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, this morning resulted in three arrests when participants blocked traffic in an intersection near
campus. "I am a little scared, but they can't intimidate me," said a Sodexo prep cook at Clark who spoke at a rally there. "We should not be intimidated at our jobs. We have a right to stand up and fight for our

Sodexo workers at Northwestern University yesterday constructed a "shantytown" in front of the school's administration building in order to protest poverty wages paid to the workers, as well as alleged civil rights and
federal labor law violations committed against workers by the company.

Do I notice a trend here?

The following is from The SEIU.

300 Students and State Union Delegates Hold Massive Sit-In at University of Pittsburgh
In an unprecedented show of support for campus food service workers, University of Pittsburgh students, labor leaders and elected officials held a massive sit-in at the school's Market Central dining hall Wednesday to protest contractor Sodexo's unlawful attacks on employees' rights. There, more than 150 Sodexo food service workers are trying to form a union, but the company has met their efforts with threats and interrogation.
  "I really think the union is now the only way we can get a fair wage, affordable healthcare and a guaranteed 40 hour work week," said Sodexo worker David Brown. "But management is trying to stop us from getting the pay and benefits our families need."

In Pittsburgh, workers have filed charges with National Labor Relations Board because Sodexo management threatened and interrogated them for trying to organize. The labor board has launched an investigation into workers' claims.

The action temporarily shut down the dining hall, and occurred after students, Sodexo workers and AFL-CIO delegates met at Schenley Plaza for a rally. Holding signs and chanting, students led the charge into the cafeteria, and were followed by hundreds of protesters.

"We went into the cafeteria to tell Sodexo management that workers on our campus should be able to improve their jobs and improve their lives without fear of being fired or intimidated," said University of Pittsburgh student Gabriel McMorland.

Sodexo workers without a union at University of Pittsburgh earn poverty wages--as little as $8.75 an hour--and most can't afford health care coverage. The 150 union Sodexo workers on campus can make nearly 50 percent more an hour and have 90 percent employer paid insurance.
Follow our coverage of Clean Up Sodexo news and actions happening across the country this week on via hashtag #springcleaning.

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