This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., about Sodexo, a French company that the U.S. House of Representatives currently employs to provide dining services.
“Sodexo has a long list of disturbing scandals and anti-worker abuses that it has allegedly committed over the course of its existence, including overcharging public schools, threatening pro-union organizing among its labor force, and claimed discrimination against black employees. Sodexo recently signed on to a hypocritical statement condemning voter identification laws, and one of its executives called for further action from corporations to meddle in politics,” Rubio’s offiice noted.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:
Recent expressions of faux-outrage over voting security laws in Georgia and other states have laid bare the epidemic of woke hypocrisy plaguing corporate America. Airlines and professional sports leagues that require government-issued identification for ticket-holders have suddenly decided that such due diligence cannot apply to voting.
One particularly egregious example comes in the form of Sodexo, a French conglomerate in the food services and facilities management industry that also happens to enjoy a contract to operate the House of Representatives dining service. Sodexo, whose executive’s moralizing was detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal article, has an especially strident history of woke hypocrisies. In fact, with a track record of labor abuses as long and disturbing as Sodexo’s, I’m surprised that the company opted to weigh in — and, frankly, that the House continues to maintain a partnership with such a firm.
For anyone interested in Sodexo’s shameful history, one starting place can be found in a Human Rights Watch report titled “A Strange Case: Violations of Workers’ Freedom of Association in the United States by European Multinational Corporations.” The report dedicates a chapter specifically to detailing Sodexo’s reprehensible abuses of its workers, such as threatening, firing, and retaliating against employees for organizing and supporting union activity.
The company’s history is rife with other allegations as well as jaw-dropping eight-figure settlements, including one with black employees who claimed systemic discrimination by the firm. It has also been involved in a horsemeat scandal and settled with the New York State Attorney General over its practice of overcharging public schools in that state.
In the United States, individuals and corporations are free to speak their minds. Companies like Sodexo are at liberty to insert their uninformed views about voting laws further into our national debate, even when they’re parroting partisan talking points entirely disconnected from reality — or, worse yet, just desperate to placate leftwing investors or conform to the woke pathologies that have come to dominate elite polite society.
Similarly, when it comes to things like dining services, the House of Representatives is able to do business with whichever companies it prefers. I would hope that the House would choose partners that reflect its values. I would also ask you both to consider whether a relationship between the U.S. Congress and Sodexo, a company that allegedly systematically discriminated against black employees among other shocking abuses, is appropriate.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.