Two Springfield Labor Rallies Set for Feb. 26

Sodexo food service workers are asking the public to attend a rally for justice on February 26 at 1 p.m. at 1295 State Street in Springfield. The workers plan to speak at the rally about "poverty wage jobs at multi-national corporation Sodexo," said Sodexo worker Noemi Nunez.

Sodexo provides food service, janitorial, and laundry services. It has about 120,000 employees in North America. Sodexo's 2009 profits were up 8 percent from the year before to more than $1 billion.

Sodexo employees in Europe have strong union representation, make living wages and report feeling respected at work, according to

In the United States, some Sodexo workers earn $8.27 an hour and do not receive any employer contribution to their health care plans.

As Sodexo profits soar, its employees and their families qualify for federal anti-hunger and rent-subsidy programs such as food stamps and WIC, the union web site said. Massachusetts Sodexo workers have also reported disrespect and intimidation from management while at work, according to the union.

“I’m representing my coworkers, who are afraid of getting fired. They work hard everyday, but cannot afford to feed their families,” said Sodexo worker Juan Salazar.

Sodexo workers in the U.S. are demanding that the company recognize their union so they can get justice on the job.

For more information on the rally contact Jesse Martin at (413) 320-8104 or or go to and/or

Later on February 26, there will be a rally in Springfield at 2:15 p.m. for Stop & Shop workers. That rally will be at 415 Cooley Street.

Information on the rally is available from Rick Brown at (413) 732-6209 x15 or or by going to

On February 21, Stop & Shop workers unanimously voted to authorize a strike. Five United Food and Commercial Workers local unions (UFCW Local 1459 in Springfield) represent more than 40,000 Stop & Shop supermarket workers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

The workers will go on strike if negotiations, which have been extended to February 28, don’t provide a fair contract. Stop & Shop is resisting workers’ proposals for a living wage, retirement pensions, and health care. The grocery store chain is making record profits, Brown said.


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