Sodexo employees gain union recognition

by Jonathan Rich / Beacon Correspondent • October 9, 2014

College food worker Donna Papastavrou and senior Nicki Morris celebrated Sodexo employees' unionization Wednesday morning in the dining hall.
College food worker Donna Papastavrou and senior Nicki Morris celebrated Sodexo employees' unionization Wednesday morning in the dining hall.

After 10 months of campaigning and petitioning, Sodexo employees will now become union workers.

"It feels like a victory," said Donna Papastavrou, who said she has worked in the dining hall bakery for the past five years.

The request to unionize was officially granted yesterday by Unite Here, a labor union that covers companies in the U.S. and Canada, and recognized by Sodexo after 75 percent of workers voted in favor of unionization in the spring.

The food workers have received support from students in the Coalition of Lions in Action with Workers, which is made up of 25 student groups, according to junior Maria DiPasquale. One of the groups, Progressives and Radicals In Defense of Employees, has supported the unionization efforts since January.

“We wanted to show student support and that no matter what, we'd be behind them,” said DiPasquale, a writing, literature, and publishing major.

Steven Canario, general manager of dining services at Emerson, could not be reached for immediate comment.