Campbell’s contract breaking, health privatization moves scrutinized by Washington, D.C.-based web site

News release

The provincial government’s legislation tearing up union contracts and paving the way for health care privatization has drawn the attention of a Washington, D.C.-based web site that monitors the French multinational Sodexho.

The controversial food services, laundry and maintenance giant has been hired by the Northern Health Authority to provide advice on changes to its own health support services.

Those activities — along with recent moves the corporation has made to privatize hospital housekeeping services in Hamilton, Ontario — are the subject of a special section of the web site located at www.eyeonsodexho.org

“Gordon Campbell’s draconian labour laws and flirtations with multi-billion dollar corporations is attracting international scrutiny,” says HEU assistant secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic. “And web sites like this one will provide British Columbians with an opportunity to find out just what kind of company the premier is keeping.”

The site has drawn a direct connection between the Gordon Campbell Liberals’ contract-breaking laws and the Sodexho’s activities in northern British Columbia.

“Following the passage of Bill 29, British Columbia's Northern Health Authority hired Sodexho as a consultant to plan health care reforms,” says the web site, “Sodexho's controversial activities in other parts of the world have caused many British Columbians, including politicians, to question the company's participation.“

Those controversial activities include shoddy cleaning practices in Scottish hospitals and an incident in the U.S. where a child was served up a Sodexho employee’s severed thumb in a turkey sandwich. The site also examines Sodexho’s record on food safety, employee relations and its activities in U.K. detention centers.

The web site is a project of the U.S. Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Intenational Union which represents about 3,000 Sodexho employees.

-30- Contact: Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)