09.20.2010 2

The SEIU Takes On Sodexo At George Mason University

On September 8th, the SEIU launched a “strike” against Sodexo on the campus of George Mason University, a public university in Northern Virginia. Oddly, Sodexo does not recognize the SEIU Local 32BJ that organized the “strike”. Sodexo is a private food services provider that was contracted by George Mason University to provide cafeteria and food services for students. The SEIU has been trying to draw attention to tough anti-union laws and attempted to use George Mason University as a pawn in their fight to overturn collective bargaining laws.

Virginia has some of the toughest public-sector union collective bargaining laws in the nation. So strong are the laws in Virginia that it is a crime for a public official to enter in to a collective bargaining agreement with a union. Thus, unions are extremely weak in Virginia.

There are several issues regarding the “strike” that broke out at GMU. First, the “strike” resulted in several university food operations being shut down affecting services that students had paid for up front at the beginning of the fall semester. The SEIU proved that they cared less about the money that students had spent for these services and instead sparked near revolution on campus through chants such as “No justice, no peace!”

Second, the SEIU organizers admitted that they had bussed in strikers from other universities around the country. Union thugs were brought on to the GMU campus from Ohio State, Georgia Tech and other various universities according to an organizer in the below video:

Third, and by far the most troubling, was the support that was lent to the event by State Senator Dave Marsden, a Democrat whose district is in Northern Virginia. Marsden went so far as to attend a “speakout” held on campus by the SEIU on the second day of the strike. We contacted Marsden for comment but he did not return our call.

For years, the SEIU has been funneling millions of dollars in legislative races to overturn the tough collective bargaining laws. Marsden is one such official in Virginia that the SEIU has been attempting to persuade through donations. Clearly, those investments have paid off as Marsden has sided with the unions when he endorsed their “strike” at GMU, and it is likely that the SEIU will be able to count upon Marsden to aid and abet any SEIU operations when they try to overturn those laws.

According to an interested parent, “If Dave Marsden had one ounce of honor he would return the SEIU money and defend the students and their parents against the ruthless power grabs by the union.” Several people affected by the situation expressed concerns about the “strike” and the meaning of the protests. The SEIU thugs that were allowed to roam around campus posed a danger to students — as they have an extensive track record of violence.

Just as troubling, the SEIU may have illegally used public-sector property at Mason to attempt to organize inside of Sodexo. Which begs the question, why did Mason allow the SEIU to run wild across the campus for the better part of a week? If any other group were to come on campus to recruit folks they would need explicit permission from the university. We have been unable to ascertain the reasons that the SEIU was allowed this privilege.

The SEIU appears to have packed up and moved on from their “strike” theatrics at Mason for the time being. But they are pulling these antics in other states attempting to influence the government officials that keep the union out of the public sector. The SEIU might just be coming to a university near you. So be on the lookout for the purple shirt brigade.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com and a student at George Mason University.

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