Sodexho

ARTICLES FROM THE CHICAGO FLAME

Food service provider to change in February

Sodexho Marriott terminates catering contract early

Hafsa Naz Mahmood

Issue date: 11/20/01
The University of Illinois at Chicago’s catering service contract was supposed to expire June 30, but Sodexho Marriott ended its five-year contract early, giving UIC 120 days notice. The worldwide food-service provider’s last day serving UIC students and faculty members will be Feb. 16. 

Sodexho hikes price, students strike back

Stephanie Jevtic

Issue date: 9/24/07
A boycott is ensuing at Northeastern Illinois University against Sodexho after the $6.7 billion corporation decided to increase food prices for NEIU this school year. Sodexho is also the new food provider here at UIC campus.

The impending price increases were made public by permission of the Student Government Association senator Steven Jerome. The SGA at NEIU, in a message sent Sept. 16, stated they are continuing an investigation of the Sodexho food service provider on campus.

 

Sodexho was contracted as the food services manager for UIC in July of 2007. Sodexho and UIC have partnered in the past.

LINKS TO OTHER ARTICLES:

An info packed and well referenced article on SODEXHO from CORPWATCH

UIC/Sodexho Food Services Labor Struggle — Fall 2002

Battling Sodexho — Struggle at UC Davis — 2007

Sodexho set for overhaul after lawsuit

Sodexho + For Profit Prison Industry

UMASS Article

Past Sodexho Partnership: Corrections Corporation of America

SODEXHO Annhiliation Resources

Who Is Sodexho? Article written on Sodexho’s Canadian branch by Canadian chap

The War Resister’s League proudly declares SODEXHO the War Profiteer of the Month!
From the site:http://www.wri-irg.org/pubs/warprof-0606.htm

“Without British and American government policies over the last twenty years encouraging the privatisation of public services known as Public Private Partnership, Sodexho would probably have stayed an inoffensive medium-sized catering company. ‘Privatisation’ and the lucrative contracts that go with it have turned Sodexho into a multinational giant

The Military
Apart from helping Multinationals exploit natural resources, Sodexho’s Remote Site Management also help pave the way for the military, In this area, the U.S. Military are their biggest customer. The Center for Public Integrity reveals that Sodexho won a US$324,000 contract to provide food and equipment in Afghanistan.

In 2001, the US Marine Corps also awarded Sodexho Inc. an US$850 million contract to serve meals at 55 Marines Corps mess halls. They also support the French army and UN’s KFOR in Kosovo, NATO in Kabul, and the US forces in South Korea, as well as supplying the 379th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron in Qatar.

Enviromental destruction

Sodexho has contracts with numerous natural resource exploiting companies such as BP Amoco, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, Shell, Texaco, Bechtel, Daewoo, Hyundai, Caspian Drilling, Rio Tinto and Halliburton. One of Sodexho notably un-environmental projects includes collaborating with the destruction of mangrove swamps on Bonny Kingdom, at the southern edge of River State, in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

Prisons
The prison industry accounts for 1% of Sodexho’s total revenue. In addition to providing ancillary services (food, grounds keeping, etc.) to a number of prisons throughout continental Europe, Sodexho Alliance owns for profit private prison companies in the U.K. and Australia. Overall, Sodexho have some involvement with ninety one prison facilities in the U.K., Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Anti-Unionist

At http://www.workersliberty.org/node/2719 you can find information about the anti-unionist policy of Sodexho.

So war, prisons, anti-unionism and oil. All this and so much more!!
For more information http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=347

 

“Sodexho proudly serves as the official food service provider for the U.S. Marine Corps.”

6,000 clients served in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
10 million customers served every day
700 facilities management sites
9.3 million meals served every day
120,000 employees in North America
7.3 billion (USD) in annual revenue (Fiscal Year 2007)

Revenue – Quarterly Results (in Millions)
FY (08/07) FY (08/06) FY (08/05)
1st Qtr 4,484.2 4,240.4 NA
2nd Qtr 8,610.9 8,266.2 7,453.0
3rd Qtr 4,299.8 4,201.3 NA
4th Qtr NA 7,894.9 7,286.3
Total 17,394.9 24,602.9 14,739.2

From the website: http://www.sodexhousa.com

“DINING MANAGEMENT
Sodexo provides dining facilities for the United States Marine Corps, Navy and Army bases.

Sodexo Government Services supports the health, morale, recreation, and retention of those we serve in the military. We prepare more than 80,000 meals daily for the United States Marine Corps, operate clean dining facilities, and bring Starbucks®, and other national brands to Navy bases, Army bases, and international locations. More than providing a great meal, we share our skills and industry best practices while making a better day for those who keep us safe.

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
Sodexo delivers integrated facilities management and Bundled Services at Marine Corps Mess Halls, countless Federal Agencies, and on our nation’s Navy bases.

Serving up more than food.
Making life more enjoyable for the men and women of your base or facility goes beyond serving great meals. Keeping your facilities clean, comfortable, and attractive inside and out is just as important.”

Seamless transition to…

“Colleges & Universities
Sodexo is committed to enhancing the learning environment on your campus through world-class food and facilities services, while supporting the ethics and values of your institution.

Learning from students. Leading by example.
Classes may run during the week, but on campuses around the country, the learning never stops. Our commitment to providing your students and staff a nurturing learning environment spans the entire campus experience. Offering campus dining and facilities services to colleges and universities means being on the cutting edge of current trends and technology, and understanding our partners’ needs and goals.

Being a part of the campus culture means understanding the issues and values that are important to our customers and acting as an example in ethical, environmental, and lifestyle issues. We’re proud to be leading the charge towards change in areas including sustainability, diversity and inclusion, wellness, and fighting hunger. We strive to set the example every day.

The roles we play on campus:

Food Services
Resident Dining
Retail Dining
Brands
National Brands
Convenience Stores
Student Board of Directors
Nutrition & Wellness
Vending
Catering
Marketing & Research
Sports & Leisure

Facilities Management
Planning & Construction Management
Energy & Plant Operations
Grounds & Custodial Services
Sports Field Management
Capital Planning
Energy Management & Conservation”

 

center for public integrity: sodexho & afghanistan

Sodexho Inc.
9801 Washingtonian Blvd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Phone: (301) 987-4500
Fax: (301) 987-4438

Background

Sodexho Inc. is the North American subsidiary of Sodexho Alliance, a French food service company founded in 1966. In March 1998, the company’s predecessor, Sodexho North America, merged with Marriott Management Services to create a new, independent, publicly traded company known as Sodexho Marriott Services. Marriott Management Services was a division of Marriott International, a hotel giant that originated in 1927 as a root beer stand in Washington, D.C.

In June 2001, Sodexho Alliance, which owned 48 percent of Sodexho Marriott, purchased the remaining 52 percent of the company for more than $1 billion. Renamed Sodexho Inc., the subsidiary became one of the largest food and services management company in the world.

In addition to food services, Sodexho Inc. provides laundry, custodial services and grounds keeping to more than 6,000 clients in the United States and Canada, including universities, the U.S. Marines, prisons, hospitals, hotels and corporations. Sodexho provides services for Time Warner and the World Bank, and it used to run the “Deli Market Emporium” at Enron’s Houston headquarters.

Sodexho Inc. has two contracts with the Marine Corps and has been providing meals and logistical support for U.S. troops since 1993. The company employs around 110,000 people and works in all 50 states. It also has partnerships with more than 10,000 U.S. suppliers.

In the last decade, Sodexho and its predecessor have been accused of a wide variety of infractions involving food safety, sanitization, unfair labor practices and racial discrimination.

In September 1999, San Francisco Weekly published an article detailing problems with Sodexho Marriott’s hospital linen laundering services. The paper obtained a memo written by an infection control officer at then-called UCSF-Stanford Health Care hospital. The memo read: “At a medical surgical nursing division meeting held on August 12, there were several reports of linen noted to have fecal smears, blood, hair, dirt and tape.” The hospital soon terminated its contract with Sodexho.

Sodexho Marriott’s cafeteria services made the news as well. In February 2001, a Barnstable high school student found a piece of human thumb in a turkey sandwich served by a Sodexho Marriott-run cafeteria.

In March 2000, six students at the State University of New York at Albany became ill from e. coli bacteria after eating at a Sodexho Marriott-run cafeteria. The campus ended its contract with Sodexho Marriott less than one year after it was signed. The company has also won accolades over the years.

In both 2002 and 2003, LATINA Style magazine named Sodexho Inc. one of the 50 best U.S. companies for Latinas to work. And former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani saluted Sodexho employees for “their spirit of service and teamwork” after they supplied meals to police, firefighters and other rescue personnel following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Afghanistan contracts

According to the 2002 GSA database, the State Department paid Sodexho $324,000 on a contract to provide “food products machine and equipment” in Afghanistan. The Center for Public Integrity filed a Freedom of Information request for the contract with the State Department but has received no response.

Government ties

Prior to joining Sodexho Inc., Reginald E. Gilliam Jr., senior vice president of government affairs, was a senior managing director and senior vice president of Washington, D.C.-based Hill & Knowlton Public Affairs Worldwide Company. At Hill & Knowlton, his clients included domestic and international corporations, cities and universities. From 1991 to 1993, he was chief of staff for Rep. Louis Stokes, D-Ohio. From 1980 to 1983, he was commissioner of the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission.

J.W. Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, is a private sector member of the President’s Export Council, a group that, through the Commerce Secretary, advises Bush on matters relating to export trade. He is also on the Board of Directors at the Naval Academy Endowment Trust.

Legal Action/Investigations

In August 2001, the U.S. General Accounting Office upheld a protest by two Sodexho competitors, Compass Group and J.W. Holding, concerning a Marine Corps contract. The competitors argued that Sodexho Inc. had submitted a lower bid than it could reasonably meet after the Marine Corps awarded Sodexho Inc. an $850 million contract to serve meals at 55 Marine Corps mess halls. After an investigation, the GAO questioned how Sodexho’s proposed price for the contract would cover its cost, while still maintaining quality food and service levels. The GAO told the Marines to reopen discussions for the contract. The GAO investigation caused Sodexho’s share price to drop 3 percent. Despite the setback, the Marine Corps eventually approved the contract with Sodexho.

In February 2001, 10 black Sodexho employees sued their employer for racial correspondence discrimination in its hiring and promoting practices. The class-action lawsuit, originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claimed that African-Americans were denied advancement in the company in favor of white employees with less seniority or less experience. Sodexho denied the charges.

By October 2003, the lawsuit had grown to include 2,600 current and former black managers. The company told the Associated Press that $1 billion dollars is at stake.

Congress has recently been scrutinizing large class-action lawsuits like this one, and Sodexho’s attorneys urged the Supreme Court to block the case. On Oct. 6, 2003, the Supreme Court refused, without comment, to block the case from moving forward.

Updates

As of March 31, 2004
In response to FOIA requests filed last year, the Center for Public Integrity recently received documents from the State Department confirming our reporting that Sodexho Inc. was awarded a food services contract worth $324,120 in 2002. The contract, dated August 21, 2002, shows that the award provided for the operation and maintenance of the cafeteria at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

—Brooke Williams

Unfair Labour Practices
from the site: http://www.labournet.net/world/0209/sodprofile.pdf
The Eye on Sodexho website claims that fewer than 12 per cent of the Sodexho workforce is unionized, less than the rates at either of its main competitors, Compass Group and Aramark. According to Sodexho’s own count, 13.75 per cent of its eligible workforce (that is, excluding personnel designated as managers) is unionized. Non-unionized Sodexho workers in the U.S. typically earn close to minimum wage – between $6 and $8 per hour. Most lack health care benefits.

In 1999 Sodexho Alliance Chairman and CEO Pierre Bellon was paid $25 million dollars, more than one thousand times the annual earnings for a non-unionized, minimum-wage worker. Bellon ranked number 363 in 2001 on Forbes Magazine’s list of the wealthiest people in the world with a net worth of U.S. $1.4 billion. 7
Sodexho tries hard to keep it that way, even if that means sometimes violating labour law. In December of 1999, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board notified the company that it was planning to launch a civil prosecution for unfair labour practices unless the company dropped its illegal work rules, which became revealed in the course a labour dispute at a Sodexho operated cafeteria at the State University of New York in Albany.

According to a report in Hotel Online, those work rules “prohibited employees from talking to outsiders about their pay and working conditions or talking to each other at the work site before or after their shifts.” Following the notification, Sodexho negotiated a settlement with the NLRB to drop its illegal work rules and to post notices informing employees of their right to join unions and to talk about their working conditions. In February 2001, the NLRB ordered the company to post those notices again for 60 days at certain locations.

An even more outrageous incident of harassment and intimidation by Sodexho was documented in a decision the NLRB issued on August 27, 2001. On January 1, 1998, Sodexho commenced a contract for cleaning at the Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan. It brought in its own management team but rehired the existing employees at Botsford.

In anticipation of the Sodexho contract, Local 79 of the SEIU had begun a union organizing drive in December 1997, leading toward a certification vote on March 12 and 13, 1998. However in the weeks after Sodexho took over, Sodexho managers engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment and intimidation, including the dismissal of six union supporters and lowering the performance evaluation of another in an effort to defeat the union drive.

The NLRB found that Sodexho had violated the National Labor Relations Act by:
• interrogating employees concerning their union sentiments,
• disparately enforcing its no-distribution/no-solicitation policy against supporters of the Union,
• threatening employees with loss of wages and benefits,
• giving employees the impression that their activities on behalf of the Union were under surveillance,
• promising a raise and promotion to an employee if the employee abandoned support for the Union, and
• threatening employees about wearing buttons in support of the Union.
The Board also found Sodexho in violation of the NLRA for discharging employees the sixemployees and lowering the performance evaluation of a seventh. It ordered Sodexho to cease and desist from its unfair labour practices and to reinstate the fired and disciplined employees and “make good for any loss of earnings and other benefits suffered as a result of the discrimination against them.”8

Just two months before the NLRB decision, Sodexho once again demonstrated its unrelenting hostility toward unions after taking over food services at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In June 2001, the company informed cafeteria workers that it would not honour their current collective agreement or recognize their seniority with their former employer. Sodexho indicated that it intended to circumvent union successorship rights by rehiring fewer than half of the current bargaining unit members.

A total of nearly 50 employment-related lawsuits involving Sodexho have been filed in U.S federal court between April 22, 1998 April 12, 2001. Ten current and former Sodexho employees filed a class action complaint on grounds of racial discrimination in March 2001.

In Glasgow, Scotland, where the Unison union has played a leading role in exposing unsanitary hospital conditions, the company has retaliated with a “climate of fear,” according to shop steward Leckie. Sodexho managers have filed complaints against union activists and have approached staff members one-to-one at night try to intimidate them from taking part in union activities.

In 1999 the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union obtained a copy of a “Union Avoidance Manual” used by Sodexho managers and bearing the Sodexho logo. That manual gives managers advice on anti-union strategies including how to prevent workers from distributing union literature, how to hold captive meetings where managers denounce unions and how to prevent union organizers from gaining access to the workers.

A copy of the manual has been posted on the Eye on Sodexho website. According to a prominently displayed statement in the manual: Sodexho Marriott will oppose any outside interference in the direct relationship with its employees and will use every reasonable legal and ethical means available when that relationship is challenged by any outside organization.

In light of the NLRB decisions regarding Sodexho and its actions, though, it is clear the company doesn’t draw the line at using unreasonable, illegal and unethical means to oppose unionization.

Eye on Sodexho:
Employment practices

http://www.eyeonsodexho.org/employment.html

Hotel Online:
National Labor Relations Board negotiates settlement with Sodexho-Marriott Services concerning its work rules

http://www.hotel-online.com/Neo/News/PressReleases2000_1st/Feb00_HERESodexho.html


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