The cafeteria concession giant Sodexo is infamous for union busting, paying low wages and abusing its workers throughout the world. In the U.S., the company has 120,000 employees, only 18,000 of whom belong to unions.
The SEIU is infamous for selling out its members and orchestrating petty turf wars with other unions. It has also been engaged in a long-running campaign against Sodexo to increase union representation and resist the company’s sweat shop conditions.
Sodexo sued SEIU under RICO (the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law originally written to bust organized crime), threatening the union and its top officials with millions of dollars in penalties, a risk none of the big unions are willing to take, even if it means abandoning workers to the whims of the bosses.
Thus, the SEIU cut a deal, a secret deal which they are calling amicable, which simply means they agreed to it willingly. What it means for Sodexo’s workers, and the future of organizing at the company, remain to be seen.
To read more, see Labor Notes: “SEIU Settles Sodexo’s Racketeering Suit, with Organizing Gains Uncertain.”