Senators Warren and Brown Call on Sodexo, NY Fed to Guarantee Workers a Fair Contract, Livable Wage
“Now that Sodexo will reportedly be joining Unite Here at the bargaining table tomorrow, we urge Sodexo to negotiate in good faith with its workers and to reach a contract that guarantees them a livable wage.”
“The NY Fed has a commitment to these essential food service workers that serve it every day, and we urge the NY Fed to demonstrate that commitment by supporting these workers as they negotiate for a fair contract.”
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent a letter to Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John C. Williams and Sodexo Group CEO Sophie Bellon to express support for the food service workers of UNITE HERE Local 100 as they begin contract negotiations today.
Workers who perform critical food service work in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (NY Fed) facility have been striving to negotiate a new contract with their employer Sodexo Group (Sodexo), for years. The most recent collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Sodexo and Unite Here expired on February 28, 2022.
“For more than a full year, these workers – who perform critical food service work in the Federal Reserve Bank of NewYork (NY Fed) facility – have been attempting to negotiate a new contract with their employer Sodexo Group (Sodexo),” wrote the senators. “Now that Sodexo will reportedly be joining Unite Here at the bargaining table tomorrow, we urge Sodexo to negotiate in good faith with its workers and to reach a contract that guarantees them a livable wage. Furthermore, we urge the NY Fed to utilize all tools at its disposal as Sodexo’s client to guarantee these workers a fair and just contract.”
In the letter, Senators Warren and Brown note workers’ primary demand to increase their minimum wage to $20 per hour to account for the rise in the cost of living since their last wage increase in March 2021. While Sodexo has reportedly committed to meeting that demand, the senators emphasized the importance of the commitment being reflected in a competitive collective bargaining agreement, and the importance of the NY Fed using their leverage as a client of Sodexo to help address their concerns.
“Sodexo is not alone in its obligation to engage productively with its food service workers: as Sodexo’s client and the facility in which these workers perform their jobs, the NY Fed has the tools and the institutional mandate to help address their concerns,” Senators Warren and Brown continued. “The NY Fed can express its support for the workers through public statements or private discussions with Sodexo leadership and managers. The NY Fed has a commitment to these essential food service workers that serve it every day, and we urge the NY Fed to demonstrate that commitment by supporting these workers as they negotiate for a fair contract.’
Senator Warren has been an outspoken advocate for workers’ rights and oversight of big business to protect workers, the economy, and hardworking families:
- On January 5, 2023, Senators Warren and Representative Cori Bush (D-Mo.) wrote to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in support of their October proposed rule on employee status which would help reclassify potentially thousands of misclassified workers.
- On October 5, 2022 Senators Warren, Sanders (I-Vt.), Markey (D-Mass.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) blasted Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for the company’s union-busting campaign, including its ongoing and illegal weaponization of benefits against unionizing workers.
- On June 16, 2022 Senators Warren and Markey and Representative Jesús G. “Chuy'' García (D-Ill.) introduced the Good Jobs for Good Airports Act, legislation that would provide airport workers with the pay, benefits, and labor standards they deserve after serving on the frontlines of the nation’s aviation system and keeping airports safe through a global pandemic.
- On June 2, 2022 Senators Warren, Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Sanders and Representatives Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote to Amazon’s President and CEO demanding answers about the company’s proposed worker chat application, which reportedly would ban workers from using certain words and phrases, restricting their ability to discuss their working conditions and basic legal rights, including unionization. The lawmakers expressed concern that the Proposed App violates federal labor laws and are requesting Amazon provide them with all documents, communications, and other materials related to the Proposed App.
- On May 11, 2022, Senator Warren and Representatives Bush (Dd-Mo.) and Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote Amazon’s Executive Chairman, Jeff Bezos blasting the company for its failure to answer their questions about policies that led to the collapse of an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, which killed six workers.
- On February 10, 2022, Senator Warren and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) announced the introduction of the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act. The legislation would strengthen protections for part-time workers and allow them to better balance their work schedules with personal and family needs.
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