Thursday, January 20, 2011



The following story and appeal is from the United Students Against Sweatshop group. I gotta admit that the intro makes me a bit jealous. Going to Paris with a purpose. On the other hand I gotta say that I would much rather go to Paris with no purpose and certainly at a different season. Sodexo is one of those multinationals that you just love to hate, with a global reach and incredibly nasty talons at the end of its reach. Here's the story.

Tell Sodexo that student-worker solidarity is global!
Yesterday, four of us arrived in Paris to confront one of the world's largest corporations on its home turf. Sodexo, the French corporation that serves food to more U.S. college students than any other company, is just days away from its international shareholders meeting. This is a key moment to show the 21st largest employer in the world that we will not tolerate poverty wages and union-busting any longer.

Click here to e-mail Sodexo executives and tell them to respect the rights of their 380,000 workers around the globe.

Workers are fighting, and it's time for us to join them in solidarity. As more universities outsource and privatize good jobs, the "Big 3" - Sodexo, Aramark and Compass - control more than three-quarters of all outsourced college food service. And these corporations squeeze pennies from workers just to make their billion-dollar profits each year. Big 3 workers and their many unions are fighting for justice on campuses around the U.S. and all across the globe. Workers in our campus cafeterias and stadiums are rising up against poverty wages, while Sodexo workers at a mine in the Dominican Republic tried to organize a union just months ago and Sodexo responded with a firing, and even the Sinaltrainal union in Colombia that started the "Stop Killer Coke" campaign recently fought with Sodexo to win fairer labor practices. The corporations are global, the worker exploitation is global, so our solidarity must be global.

Since at least 1999, students have been fighting to kick Sodexo off our campuses. By 2001, students forced 6 universities to kick out Sodexo, and the company finally pulled out of for-profit prisons in the U.S. (they still profit from prisons in many other countries!). For a decade, students from coast to coast have demanded their schools drop Sodexo over worker rights violations, environmental misdeeds and unfair meal plan costs. Now, USAS activists have launched a campaign to kick Sodexo off as many campuses as necessary until the corporation begins paying living wages and respecting workers' freedom to form unions without intimidation.

Please take a minute to tell Sodexo to respect worker rights.

We want you to follow us on our journey here in France. Here's a couple ways to get connected:

* On Facebook, "like" the Kick Out Sodexo page:
* We'll post updates on the campaign blog:
* To get campaign updates by e-mail, just send a message to

In solidarity,

Terasia Bradford, Ohio State University USAS
Vicko Alvarez, USAS National Organizer & University of Chicago USAS alum
Please go to this link to send the following letter to Sodexo management.

I write to express my deep concern over Sodexo's treatment of its workers. All workers deserve basic human rights, including the right to a family-support living wage and to associate freely.

I believe your company has violated these rights in the United States and around the world. The TransAfrica Forum has documented Sodexo workers struggling with severe poverty wages and a host of other human rights violations. Human Rights Watch reported extensively on your company's use of "captive audience meetings" and other tactics to intimidate workers from joining unions.

As an industry leader that makes over a billion dollars in profits a year, Sodexo can afford to treat workers fairly. I urge you to pay family-supporting living wages and to respect workers' freedom to form unions by any legal method of their choosing, on every U.S. college campus, and in every Sodexo workplace around the globe.

Thank you for your time. I eagerly await your response.

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