Friday, October 8, 2010

New Orleans’ Food Service Workers Organize and Advocate for Fair Workplace Conditions

By Alison McCrary
Food service workers at Tulane University walked off the job at 6:00 AM yesterday, to demonstrate their outrage over the unfair labor practices of their employer, Sodexo.

Students and workers gathered together for a rally and march later that morning in support of the workers’ right to organize. State Senator-elect Cynthia Willard Lewis addressed the crowd at Tulane in support of the workers.

For more than a year, Sodexo workers and students at Tulane and Loyola University have been fighting for better workplace conditions and have been met with management retaliation and intimidation. The cafeteria workers earn as little as $8 an hour and many lack access to affordable health insurance. While the workers experience unfair working conditions, Sodexo continues to profit, posting more than $1 billion profits in 2009.

The demonstration yesterday is part of a national campaign to hold Sodexo accountable for its unfair labor practices and work environment hostile to organized labor.

Alison McCrary is an attorney and Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow at the Louisiana Justice Institute. She received her Juris Doctor of Law from Loyola University College of Law where she served as a member of Moot Court and president of the Public Interest Law Group. Alison is a member of the National Lawyers Guild.

Photo: LJI Board Member Davida Finger addresses Loyola students and workers at Sodexo Rally and Protest in April 2010.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Not sure if this is still the case, but Sodexo was at one time pretty involved in the prison privatization movement. I know students in the SUNY system organized to boycott the company because of their open support for and profiting from prison privatization. Would like to see a similar movement at Tulane and Loyola. There was a full page ad in the Hullabaloo today taken out by Sodexo claiming that their employees are lying and are actually treated fairly. In all though, I haven't heard much about this whole event, and I'm on campus frequently.