From a Press Release by the Service Employees International Union:
Sodexo Could Face Trial Over Alleged Violations of US Labor Law as NLRB Takes Up Charges against the Company
The National Labor Relations Board has determined there is enough evidence to pursue charges against Sodexo for allegedly violating US labor law. After an investigation, the NLRB found that charges of interrogating, spying on, firing and/or threatening to fire workers suspected of supporting the union, and illegally using campus police to force a union organizer off campus have merit and has ruled it has enough evidence to bring Sodexo to trial.
The charges stem from union activity at Tulane and Loyola universities from February to May of 2010. They include charges that Sodexo:
· Spied on workers engaged in union activity;
· Fired a pro-union Sodexo employee in retaliation for her union activity;
· Threatened employees with termination in retaliation for their union support;
· Used Tulane University police to expel a union organizer from campus;
· Used Tulane University police as its agent to interrogate employees regarding their union activity; and
· Retaliated against employees for union activity
The NLRB also found merit in charges against Tulane University including allegations relating to: illegally detaining and expelling pro-union Sodexo employees from its campus and unlawfully restricting access to the campus; illegally videotaping pro-union Sodexo employees; spying on pro-union employees by permanently posting its police officers outside cafeteria buildings on its campus; and illegally interrogating pro-union Sodexo employees in the presence of Sodexo managers and questioning employees regarding their union activities during those interviews. SEIU chose to withdraw several charges after Sodexo workers involved in the incidents were too frightened to testify against the company.
Unions and workers in seven countries including, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, England, France, Morocco and the United States have repeatedly asked Sodexo to sign an enforceable global framework agreement that guarantees a fair and fast process through which Sodexo workers can gain the right to be represented by a union and the right to bargain collectively through the most efficient process set by each country’s law without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
According to Sodexo’s own figures, a mere 15 percent of its workers in the United States have the right to bargain collectively with Sodexo, the other 85 percent have no collective bargaining rights at all. They have the lowest percentage of workers represented by unions of the three major foodservice companies in the United States. Sodexo, the 21st largest employer in the world, despite making more than a billion dollars profit in 2010, is criticized by its workers for paying them in the United States poverty wages and for not offering affordable healthcare options; two-thirds of Sodexo’s non-managerial employees in the United States are not covered by health insurance offered by the company.