5 Things You Need to Know about the Sodexo/Union Dispute
SEIU organizing food service workers at Lafayette, Moravian, Muhlenberg, Lehigh
Across the country, the Service Employees International Union is trying to get employees of the food service company Sodexo to unionize.
It's been a heated battle, and it's made its way to the Lehigh Valley. Here are some of the facts.
1. Sodexo is one of the largest employers in the world, with 120,000 employees just in the United States. In the Lehigh Valley, their workers handle food service duties at several local hospitals -- including Sacred Heart, Good Shepherd and Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest -- and colleges.
2. The SEIU is a large union, with 2.2 million members. SEIU 32BJ, the union's local chapter, has 175,000 members. It's this chapter that's working with Sodexo workers in the Lehigh Valley to get them to organize.
3. Why? Well, the SEIU says Sodexo is underpaying its workers and offering subpar benefits, and has intimidated them to keep them from organizing.
4. Sodexo has responded by accusing the union of its own campaign of intimidation. It has noted that some of its workers are already unionized, and free to do so.
5. This fight now involves workers at Lafayette, Moravian and Muhlenberg colleges and Lehigh University, as well as students at those schools. According to the SEIU, a group of students at Lafayette and Moravian last week petitioned their schools to drop Sodexo as their food service providers.