Kick Out Sodexo!

  0 (Goal: 5,000)

Petitioning: Gordon E. Michalson

Petitioner: Essie started on April 28, 2011

Kick Out Sodexo!

This is a petition to demonstrate student support for the non-renewal of New College's contract with Sodexo this summer.

Continuing to contract our dining service through Sodexo, given its history of human rights abuses, is not in line with ethics of New College of Florida.

Sodexo pays poverty wages to many of its workers, both in the U.S. and around the world. The company's excuse that Sodexo's wages are "competitive" in an industry plagued by poverty wages, where Sodexo is the industry leader, is simply absurd.

Furthermore, when workers have joined together in response to unfair pay and treatment Sodexo has responded with anti-union intimidation tactics like mandating "captive audience meetings" to discourage workers from forming unions.

Sodexo workers in the Dominican Republic who make poverty wages have called upon U.S. university students to take action against Sodexo in order to make a strong statement concerning Sodexo’s abuse of workers. Carina Mieses, a union leader of Sodexo workers in the Dominican Republic was fired for the simple fact that she dedicated herself to form a union. Ms. Mieses was fired after workers initiated a work stoppage demanding payment for overtime hours and a wage increase.

University officials, students, and workers have raised concerns of racial discrimination by Sodexo. University of Washington President Phyllis Wise, in her letter of January 2, 2011, specifically raised concerns about the 2005 class-action lawsuit against Sodexo over race-bias in promotions that forced Sodexo to pay out an $80 million settlement to thousands of African-American employees.

Sodexo has also been implicated in overcharging students for its meal plans, and has faced legal action in the state of New York. According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Sodexo had committed “illegal overcharges” in its contracts with 21 school districts plus the State University of New York, and that this sort of behavior is “common practice within the food service industry for service providers like Sodexo.”

Therefore, we call on New College to immediately:

● Kick out Sodexo. The college must give Sodexo notice that we are terminating our contract with the company.

● Contractually require the new contractor to respect basic worker rights. Insert the attached “Labor Standards for Food Service Contracts” into the Request For Proposals, making clear that the college will include the same language in its contract with the new food service contractor. These standards include rehiring all current campus workers employed by Sodexo, paying living wages, offering affordable health insurance and respecting the freedom to form unions.

● Conduct an audit. Enforce the contract by performing a full audit of Sodexo’s financial records from [the beginning of the current contract to present] to determine whether Sodexo has met its contractual requirement to fully return all rebates received from vendors for goods purchased for New College’s dining service account, and publicly release preliminary findings.

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