For immediate release
April 3, 2008
Probe Impact of Corporate Giant's Business Practices on America's Communities
HOUSTON—With a growing number of communities nationwide raising concerns about the business and workplace practices of food service giant Aramark, four current and former Aramark employees are launching a national tour today to learn more about the corporation’s impact on America’s communities. The workers—janitors and food service workers—will travel coast-to-coast to meet with parents, community leaders, and fellow Aramark workers in cities including Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
“Many Aramark workers have already seen the shoddy quality of Aramark services in our communities,” says Vernita Murdock, an employee at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center who was fired after speaking out for good jobs and services. “Now we want to get a full picture of what the company is doing across the country and find a way to address these problems together.”
The workers will meet with their counterparts and community leaders to discuss common concerns such as food safety, nutrition, fiscal integrity, and the need for good jobs with health care at the thousands of schools, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, stadiums, convention centers, recreational venues, correctional facilities, and companies where Aramark provides food and cleaning services nationwide:
- From 2005 to 2007 county health inspectors in Anaheim, Calif. logged 118 vermin violations, including 33 “major” violations, and observed “rodent activity” at 18 stadium kiosks and restaurants at Angels’ Stadium, where Aramark provides food services.
- In one suburban Chicago school, Aramark workers have denounced short staffing, which makes it impossible to serve wholesome food, leaving nutritious fruits and vegetables to go to waste.
- As the food service provider for cash-strapped Detroit Public Schools, Aramark failed to pass on volume discounts totaling $1.3 million, as required by federal regulations.
- Nine Aramark workers at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center— forced to make ends meet on as little as $6.30 an hour—have been fired or effectively fired for what the union and workers believe was speaking out about poor working conditions.
The workers will make stops in Los Angeles (4/4), and Chicago (4/7), before ending in New York City on April 10 at a meeting of Goldman Sachs, one of four private equity firms that control Aramark and whose co-presidents each received compensation of $67.5 million in 2007.
Aramark workers are seeking to form a union with SEIU or UNITE-HERE in order to ensure that Aramark provides quality jobs and services to the communities that generate the company’s income, more than $12.4 billion in revenues last year alone.
For more information, visit FactsOnAramark.info.