Letter to the Editor from Sodexo's Resident District Manager

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Connect2Mason received a letter to the editor Tuesday evening from Sodexo Resident District Manager Denise Ammaccapane, who oversees Mason Dining at George Mason University.

Sodexo, the international food services and facilities management company, has been the focal point of recent unionization efforts supported by the Service Employees International Union. The nationwide project, 'Clean Up Sodexo', is limited to Sodexo-contracted campuses in 10 states: California, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Virginia.
SEIU describes the project as intending to "to shed a new light on how people think about Sodexo."

In the letter, Ammaccapane addresses the SEIU's 'self-serving accusations' and the 'serious misinformation' of the wider Clean Up Sodexo project. 

The full text of the letter is posted below.

Letter to the Editor from Sodexo's Resident District Manager

April 20, 2010
George Mason University
Letter to the Editor

Sodexo proudly serves students at George Mason University. Lately, we’ve come under attack from the Service Employees International Union. SEIU is organizing student and employee activity on several university campuses based on false allegations about our business. The George Mason community deserves an accurate picture of Sodexo.

SEIU is competing with other unions, including UNITE HERE, to organize various sectors of the labor force. SEIU's actions on campus are part of a campaign of serious misinformation to force Sodexo into dealing with the SEIU to the exclusion of other unions. Sodexo’s presence at George Mason has caused SEIU to target these institutions with disruptive activities.

Take SEIU’s self-serving accusations with a grain of salt. When independent third-party observers take a look at Sodexo, the impression of the company is completely different than SEIU’s view. For example, Sodexo has been recognized this year as one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, one of the World’s Most Ethical companies by Ethisphere Institute; and as one of Working Mother’s best companies for hourly workers. We’re proud of these and other honors, because our employees are critical to our success.

Here’s the truth. Sodexo’s workforce is more than 15% unionized – over twice the national average. We have more than 300 collective bargaining agreements with labor unions across the nation. We respect the rights of our employees to unionize or not unionize, as they choose. Allegations that Sodexo interferes with workers' rights to unionize are false. Sodexo has both the right, under federal law, and the responsibility to ensure that employees hear both sides concerning SEIU. We provide competitive pay and benefits to our workforce. The average wage of our more than 455 workers at George Mason is $10.73, well above the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. No Sodexo employee at George Mason works for less than $8.50 an hour.

If the SEIU had the worker support it claims, it would have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a federally-supervised secret ballot election. But the SEIU doesn’t want elections. It wants theatrical confrontations to erode the trust between Sodexo management, employees and customers, and help it attract new members in its ongoing dispute with rival unions.

George Mason’s student government has recognized the SEIU tactics for what they are and we appreciate their strong letter of support.

Denise Ammaccapane
Regional District Manager, Sodexo
George Mason University



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