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Food Service Workers Attempt to Unionize at Portland State

ARAMARK is an international food service corporation with over 180 cases of unfair labor practices violations. This week, ARAMARK employees at PSU began the fight for union representation with AFSCME. The company has responded with typical union-busting tactics. On International Workers Day(Tuesday, May 1st) students, faculty, and staff will show their support with an ARAMARK boycott and campus education blitz.
letter sent to all the PSU ARAMARK employees on Thursday

April 26, 2001

On April 17, 2001 the American Federation of State County, and Municiple
Employees, Council 75 filed a petition with the National Labor Relations
Board(NLRB) seeking representation for certain of ARAMARK's food service
employees. The petition is not clear on the make up of the unit, so we
have asked the NLRB to clarify exactly which of our employees the union
is seeking to represent. If we are unable to arrive at a satisfactory unit
description the NLRB has scheduled a hearing for April 30, 2001 to determine
the size and mak up of the unit.

ARAMARK is strongly opposed to this attempt to organize the food service
employees. We believe that everyone, the students, the employees and the
Company benefit more by working together to resolve issues and concerns.
We do not believe that the intervention of a third party is either beneficial
or helpful in building and maintaining the type of relationship we presently

Between now and the time of any election that might take place,
we will be communicating with you regarding this issue and unionization
in general. We want everyone to understand how this union can affect them
and this operation. By maintaining an open mind and taking a look at the
facts, we are confident that you will decide that you do not need this or
any union.


Toni Larson
Food Service Director
Response from PSU student body president

Dear Toni Larson:

In reponse to your letter dated April 26th, the students of Portland State University officially take the position that there should be no interference in the organizing of the ARAMARK employees who service our campus, and demand that you cease and desist from any interference.

There are currently over 180 violations against ARAMARK pointing to cases of unfair labor practices. Your anti-union policy is apparent in your letter admitting that "ARAMARK is strongly opposed to this attempt to organize the food service employees." This anti-union policy is not worker friendly and is not supported by the students of Portland State University.

Your letter also states, "Between now and the time of any election that might take place, we will be communicating with you regarding this issue and unionization in general." We ask that if you are interested in communicating futher on this matter that we do so in a public debate forum where the community you service is allowed a voice in the process-- namely the students.

We hope that in the future ARAMARK decides to take the high ground and invite a worker friendly atmosphere as well as back away from interference tactics.


Ms. Bar Johnston
Student Body President

Regional Manager ARAMARK
Daniel O. Bernstine, President Portland State University
George Pernsteiner, Vice-President for Finance, PSU

We will be out all day on Tuesday informing the campus about the unionizing efforts, ARAMARK's response and history of anti-union activities, and issues of student involvement in contracting decisions. We believe the University should have a Code of Conduct for labor, environmental, and human rights considerations in all of its business practices(including contrators, sub-contractors, licensing agreements, and investments.) At 4pm we will head down to the May Day march. To keep informed about the attempt to unionize and events when community support may be needed, contact ASPSU at 503-725-3454, or Students for Unity.

Some more facts about ARAMARK:

1. ARAMARK made $168 million in profits in 2000. PSU ARAMARK employees starting wages are $6.50 - $7.00/hour. Few can afford to buy the company's health insurance. ARAMARK CEO Joseph Neubauer's salary was $1 million in 2000. He was given a $1.2 million bonus and he made $6.5 million by exercising stock options equal to $8.7 million in 2000.
2. At PSU, the ARAMARK food service subcontracts to Taco Bell, Subway, Starbucks, and others. Our campus food service is made up almost entirely of fast food outlets.
3. ARAMARK is the leading provider of correctional food service in the world(ARAMARK press release). They have bought out Correctional Food Service Management, the food service company for Wackenhuts, a private, for profit prison. (Nov. 29, 2000) For more information on the prison industrial complex and the successful campaigns being waged against another food service provider, Sodexho-Marriot, see:  http://www.nomoreprisons.org/nwom.htm
4. In 2000, ARAMARK was in the top 20 Food and Beverage Contributers at $94,381 donating 95% of this to Republicans. They hosted both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
5. ARAMARK formed national parternships with Boeing and Wal-mart in 2000, and a global partnership with Citigroup. They also have partnerships with Shell Oil and Nestle, provide uniforms for Pepsi and Goodyear, operate in Mexico, Korea, Japan...
6. ARAMARK also owns three uniform companies, including Galls, Inc., "The Authority for Public Safety Equipment and Apparel." Their website is very entertaining; you can get to it from the ARAMARK homepage.
7. ARAMARK is "educating" our children for profit. See  http://www.aramark.com/about/ar/intro.htm

" ARAMARK Educational Resources has provided comprehensive early childhood and educational services for more than 30 years. As the second-largest educational services provider in the United States, we maintain a staff of more than 19,000 dedicated educators and child-care workers.

The Early Care/Education Division provides educational services at nearly 600 community-based Children's World Learning Centers and other child care centers in more than 20 states. We provide educationally and developmentally appropriate curriculums for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, pre-kindergartners and school-age
children. Our private elementary schools educate more than 2,000 students from preschool to sixth grade.

Medallion School Partnerships provides customized educational and recreational programs for school-age and preschool children on the premises of elementary schools. We operate in more than 20 states at nearly 600 elementary schools. Work/Life Partnerships offers on-site child care and learning centers at corporate offices, government agencies, universities and other employers to meet both the work and family needs of clients' employees. We provide workplace child care solutions and consulting services to more than 1,000 employers throughout the United States."

"Like bike patrol, Galls is a policing tradition!"
"From body armor to walk-through scanners, Galls has the law enforcement products you need."
"From boots and socks to pepper spray and batons, Galls University provides important information on a variety of apparel, equipment, and technology: all the stuff you need to keep up with the demanding rigors of your profession."

homepage: homepage: http://www.afscme.org/
phone: phone: 503-725-8777
address: address: P.O. Box 751 Portland, OR 97207