AFSCME: Bobb and Sodexo Lied to People and Workers!

Mar 04, 2011, 10:55 ET from Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO

DETROIT, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  Michigan Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, issued the following statement:

"Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb's decision to outsource noninstructional services for Detroit Public Schools has produced chaos in our schools," stated Keith January, President of AFSCME Local 345.  "Sodexo and their subcontractors have hired about 390 of the current employees, but have not fully staffed the schools.  As a result, employees on the job are required to work extensive overtime, in some cases including Sundays, at premium rates.  Sodexo and the subcontractors reportedly have been hiring additional workers off the street, who are not familiar with the work or the school facilities.  As a result, there is a great deal of confusion and poor management by the contractors, and some areas are going without cleaning services for days at a time."

"Robert Bobb and Sodexo made commitments to these workers regarding wages, benefits, pensions and other aspects of the employment relationship," added Edward L. McNeil, Special Assistant to Council 25 President Albert Garrett.  "Sodexo and the subcontractors are not living up to these commitments.  Sodexo has widely circulated a packet of material including claimed highlights of the Sodexo contract.  Their claims do not appear to match their actions, and they have not yet released a copy of the actual contract.  Several subjects addressed in this packet are mandatory subjects of bargaining.  Since AFSCME has received voluntary recognition as bargaining representative for these workers, these subjects should be resolved at the bargaining table, not by pronouncement of Sodexo.  We are consulting with legal counsel to determine the most suitable recourse to deal with these actions by Sodexo and its subcontractors."

"Robert Bobb tried to sell the people of Detroit a bill of goods, claiming these workers would be treated fairly, and their wages and benefits would be unchanged," asserted Albert Garrett, President of Council 25.  "What is happening is wrong, and AFSCME will not sit still for this.  We are here to protect and defend these workers, and we demand Sodexo come to the bargaining table now."

Albert Garrett is also Michigan Vice President for AFSCME International.  Michigan AFSCME Council 25 represents more than 90,000 public workers across Michigan.  AFSCME International represents 1.6 million public workers nationwide.  News releases issued by Michigan AFSCME Council 25 are available at

SOURCE Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO