Sodexo workers react to their 3% raise


Piper Demman

Sodexo worker serves student in the Orleans Room.

Jonathan Whitehead, Staff Writer

While Sodexo employees are fighting to unionize their workplace, the company recently compensated its workers with a raise that many workers say is not satisfying their desires, resulting in internal frustrations.

The lead of the Orleans Room dining hall, Samantha Henry, has worked with Sodexo since 2017, and in her almost seven years of employment, she has been given two raises. Together, the raises only add up to about $2. The recent 3% raise among Sodexo workers is equivalent to about 30 cents added to their paychecks. With this fractional increase, workers have shared their frustration with the company.

Henry said that she is aggravated with the company and has even considered quitting because of this, but plans to stay because she wants to be there for her employees. With Sodexo’s knowledge of the formation of the union and its recent wage increase among its employees, Henry shared the changes she’s then seen in the company.

“It’s got worse. Because everybody’s pissed off behind the 3% raise,” Henry said. “They need to give us some damn money. I got a boot in this garage the other day, $180.”

Henry added that employees also have to pay to park at Loyola.

“Who could afford parking at 300 and something dollars?” she said.

Another Sodexo employee, who wished to remain unnamed, shared that the raise would be too little to even notice and that they, too, have considered quitting. In regards to the changes in the company, they shared that Sodexo’s operations director Robert Heidingsfelder posted a previous Maroon article about the union on his door in an attempt to intimidate the workers and organizers who agreed to be interviewed in that article.

The source added that students could show their support for the workers in a variety of ways, including emailing the general manager of Loyola Sodexo, Charles Casrill, at [email protected] to voice support for the union and a higher raise.

Casrill said that after speaking with the university, he was not able to give answers about this topic at this time.

As internal frustrations with Sodexo strengthen, Loyola senior SJ Hay, who is involved with the formation of the union, shared what the raise has done for the unionization of the company.
“Since that has come out, more workers have been wanting to be a part of the union,” Hay said. “It was not a good thing that it happened, but also good for igniting a little bit more momentum in what’s going on so that we get more workers and fully get recognized and verified as a union.”
Hay added that the pay increase is an attempt to appease its workers by giving them something small as opposed to giving the workers no raise at all.
However, with the worker frustration empowering the unionization of the company, Hay said that once the union is fully formed, workers will be able to meet with the company and bargain for higher wages and other benefits in the workplace.
While the union continues to form, Hay shared that there is a lack of needed support by the Loyola community.
“As Jesuits, there’s such a strong tradition in workers’ rights, and we’ve had a lot of support from other people in the Jesuit network nationally, so it’s kind of odd that there’s not more support on campus from local priests and that part of the community,” Hay said.