Sunday, September 16, 2012

Aramark Uses Hurricane Isaac to Loot the City of New Orleans

From a press release by SEIU Local 21LA:

On August 29, Hurricane Isaac swept through New Orleans and surrounding areas with raging winds and torrential rains causing widespread flooding and epic power outages that lasted in some cases as long as a week. Businesses and schools were closed for up to one week. Whether people evacuated or chose to ride out the weather at home, most people experienced a financial loss due to being out of work since August 28. Shelters were opened. FEMA began processing applications and a disaster foodstamp program was implemented and extended for days to accommodate the outpouring of those in need due to the hardships caused by this disaster.

Everyone lost -- except Aramark and its Wallstreet owners. In fact, this Fortune 500 company, which receives taxpayer money to clean and provide food services in the Recovery School District (RSD), made money. Aramark was paid even though schools were closed. Instead of paying workers for their scheduled shifts that were canceled due to forces beyond their control, the company pocketed tens of thousands of dollars, while their workers, who already toe the poverty line, were put into precarious situations because of the loss of income.

Aramark and its private equity investors from Wallstreet made a week’s worth of profits off of the pain and suffering of New Orleans and the New Orleans people.

“Aramark and its Wallstreet investors looted during Hurricane Isaac from the workers and the taxpayers,” said Helene O’Brien, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 21 LA. “Louisiana law requires a three-year prison sentence for looters. Aramark needs to pay its workers or pay back the taxpayers or go to jail.”

Aramark workers as well as concerned New Orleanians will deliver a letter of demands to the Aramark office (3800 Desire Parkway, New Orleans, 70126) at 10 a.m., Tuesday, September 18. For more information or to interview Aramark workers and concerned New Orleanians, contact Jewel Bush, SEIU Local 21 LA, by phone at (225) 454-3853 or via email at

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