President Jim Wagner balanced a note of celebration with a call for vital integrity in this year's State of the University address given Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. During the Q&A period, Wagner responded to several questions related to establishing a labor code of conduct. Below is Emory's response, which is part of a public document (PDF) that had been discussed at a Sept. 20 University Senate meeting.  

Demand #2 > Implement the attached Labor Code of Conduct that would apply to in-house dining or a new contract with an alternate food service provider.

Emory Response >> Implementing the propsed Labor Code of Conduct would not be in the best interests of Emory or those working on the Emory campus. Among other things, the draft code largely focuses on the manner in which Emory and its contractors would respond to union-organizing efforts on campus and would limit employees' access to full and balanced information about such an important topic.

Our response would not be complete without noting that the proposed Labor Code of Conduct is copied, in large parts verbatim, from the Kick Out Sodexo website (see That website contains a "step-by-step guide to kicking out Sodexo at your school!" (See

Directly related to this campaign is a lawsuit filed by Sodexo, which alleges that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has engaged in extortion, smear campaigns, and unlawful attacks on Sodexo's business relationships with its college and university clients. According to the lawsuit, the SEIU has assisted and guided various student groups in creating the "Kick Out Sodexo" campaign, in an effort to put pressure on universities to terminate their relationships with Sodexo, so that Sodexo will eventually capitulate and allow the SEIU to represent all of Sodexo's 120,000 employees nationwide, without allowing the workers to vote in an NLRB-supervised secret ballot election. A federal judge recently ruled that the lawsuit may continue forward.


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