Protest at Clark U tomorrow (Sat., April 17)

Cafeteria workers, students, community groups to protest tomorrow civil rights violations by food service giant Sodexo at Clark University.

Cafeteria workers employed by food service contractor Sodexo at Clark University will be joined by student groups and community supporters in a march and rally on Saturday, April 17, near the Clark campus. The workers have been trying to form a union with SEIU Local 615.

The support for Sodexo workers has been escalating in Worcester. Recently three protesters were arrested on Main Street, Worcester during a protest of Sodexo’s legal violations. Saturday’s event at Clark is one of several across the country this week intended to protest Sodexo’s attacks on employees trying to form a union. Sodexo cafeteria workers, janitors, students, religious leaders and elected officials in 11 states will participate in rallies and lead strikes in some locations; and some individuals may participate in civil disobedience. Events are planned for Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Louisiana, Georgia and California.

Sodexo is the 22nd largest employer in the world, with more than 80,000 workers in the U.S. Sodexo made more than a billion dollars in profits in 2009, yet SEIU leaders note that the company pays its U.S. workers as little as $7.50 an hour and does not offer affordable healthcare options.

U.S. Sodexo workers who are campaigning to improve their working conditions report that they have come under attack by Sodexo in recent months, with company retaliation including illegal firings, interrogations and surveillance. This activity spans eight states and is the basis of 16 unfair labor practice charges that are pending before the National Labor Relations Board, including one regarding retaliation against pro-union workers at Clark. French and British unions are working with SEIU to secure a global guarantee from Sodexo to improve pay and working conditions and guarantee Sodexo workers’ right to join a union without opposition.


WHAT: March and rally by cafeteria workers (joined by campus and community supporters), to protest Sodexo’s civil rights violations against workers at Clark University and nationwide.

WHEN: Saturday, April 17 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: March and Rally Crystal Park.


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