100 signatures reached
To: The College of New Jersey
End TCNJ's Ties with Sodexo
We are calling on our president, Kathryn A. Foster, to prioritize people over profit.
Students would like to have a say in the contracts obtained by our college. As we are against labor abuses, monetization of capital punishment and mistreatment of employees, TCNJ must end its contract with Sodexo to promote ethical business standards. We are against the college privatizing its services. TCNJ should move towards a system where it accepts full accountability and utilize self-operated services.
Sodexo is responsible for:
• Ownership private prisons across the world
• Various civil rights abuses
• Exploitative labor policies
• Violations of food safety
• Environmental destruction
• Racial discrimination
• Major class action lawsuits
Under any circumstance, the college should protect its current service workers. TCNJ should REHIRE all Sodexo employees that work for the school under its new contract.
You may use this template to request action from the school:
Office of the President: 609.771.2101
If you want me to CC you on emails I send to higher ed at TCNJ, please email [email protected]
Contacts receiving emails: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Why is this important?
Sodexo is a billion-dollar company operating internationally, despite being infamous for taking advantage of marginalized and isolated populations in countries around the world. Sodexo hires impoverished people and offers no benefits, wages as low as 33 cents, harmful work conditions, among many other human rights violations. Most shockingly, Sodexo profits off private prisons and immigration detention centers. Large corporations in America often profit from prisons by using prisoners for FREE LABOR. This means, our form of punishment is making criminals drive our capitalistic society.
“For every person who is in prison, companies get money,” said Dr. Marilou Marcillo, business ethics professor, “If a prison’s profit derives from the number of people who are incarcerated, they’re going to look for ways to incarcerate more people, not rehabilitate them.”
The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) sums up the narrative that companies view mass incarceration as opportunity. The PIC means people with racial, social, and economic privileges will remain at the top while lower classes will remain in endless cycles of poverty and incarceration.
Students at Scripps College thoroughly researched Sodexo and held their college accountable, resulting in Scripps terminating its contract. The following is a website created by the students detailing the issue and their initiative: https://dropsodexo.wordpress.com/ge/
Using local vendors can provide higher quality food that can actually save the college money, as outlined in this study detailing the steps Pomona College took to shift from Sodexo to “self-operated dining services”: https://tsl.news/news1733/
Sodexo Justice Services, a subsidiary of Sodexo, controls the total operation of five prisons in England and Scotland.
This source details the repeated cases of abuse, neglect, and torture in prisons operated by Sodexo: https://investigate.afsc.org/company/sodexo
The investigation also reveals that as of 2017 Sodexo’s website revealed that it had operations in 22 prisons across eight countries. These operations often included “community corrections”, a vague title for operations that should have been conducted by the prison, instead of an outside company.
These issues are not solely prevalent abroad, as Sodexo workers in the US typically live below the poverty line. For instance, after working in the cafeteria at Tulane University in New Orleans for forty years, one Sodexo worker still makes less than $10.00 per hour. ‘I’m a proud woman, so I’m going to do my job no matter what they tell me to do,’ she says, ‘but this isn’t fair.’”
More examples of Sodexo's corrupt prisons:
Examples of its human rights violations:
• Awful and unsafe factory conditions
• Failure to accommodate worker's medical conditions
• Separate and unequal treatment
• Severely underpaid workers ($0.33/hour)
• Not paying workers for all hours worked
• Inaccurately labeling workers as seasonal to avoid providing benefits
• Prohibits worker’s Right to Association (ability to form unions)
Around the world, Sodexo’s workers argue that its employment practices violate their human rights. Sodexo routinely hires poor and undereducated workers who are often geographically isolated, pays them low wages, and at times, reportedly fails to pay in full for hours worked including overtime pay. Sodexo employees reported being denied breaks during the day as well as being docked pay for meals they cannot eat due to an immense workload. The business model Sodexo employs keeps workers poor and locks their communities into seemingly endless cycles of poverty.
This study details all the issues outlined above through employee interviews conducted nationally: http://news.emory.edu/special/workforce_and_labor/documents/transafrica_report.pdf
Feel free to ask me any questions or contact me if you want to get more involved: [email protected]