Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Sodexo sucks

It makes me very angry to think that there's a Sodexo restaurant on our Tampere Uni campus. I only discovered the global connection of Sodexo to UK deportation centres last autumn, when I was doing some background study for my forthcoming novel. I ended up reading for a whole month about mass deportations in the EU.

Sodexo runs Britain's largest deportation centre at Harmondsworth near Heathrow Airport. It's been constantly in the British media for bad treatment of inhabitants and even suicide cases. I know we should have started complaining about this years ago, but such is life in the peripheries - we hear the bad news always somewhat belated.

The food at the local Sodexo restaurant is awful, so I know many people boycott it for mere reasons of taste. But this makes me think seriously about our common European futures: how many years will it take until the whole of Europe's reception and deportation centres will be privatized? Can anyone estimate what Sodexo's current profits in the deportation business are?

I'll try to write about this in one of the local papers soon, but I first have to calm down for a few days for my article to become a bit more civilized.

Thanks to a special muse who suggested me that I should write about this, while sitting at the Amica café. Wonder what the global corporatist connections of Amica are?


Christophe said...


sorry but I don't see why Sodexo sucks because they are running a deportation facility canteen. How about the company that built it? the company that takes the trash out? the company that manufactures the planes actually deporting those guys? the company that manufactures the wheels of those planes????? your argument doesn't make much sense to me....

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Christope.

It makes no sense. SODEXO doesn't deport people, they feed people. Your failure to figure that out and your attempt to reach for an angle makes me think "your first novel" is already doomed. Although maybe not because you obviously have a good imagination to believe anyone can see the relationship you are stretching to make.

Jane said...

The entire point is not Sodexo having the account in the deportation center it is the bad conditions of the facility and the poor treatment of the detainees. Sodexo has many accounts. This is the first I have read about this, but I know they also have accounts to clean hospital facilities (there are a few articles out there about how poorly they do this, too), campus dining and elementary school cafeterias. There was a big thing in the States a few years ago in regard to their prison canteen holdings, and they have since separated from that. There are usually more side than one to a situation - it isn't even Sodexo, it could have been Aarmark or Compass, the competitors to Sodexo or a company called banana. The point of the blog was the ill treatment of people.

Anukatri said...

Hi all, I only found your comments six months later, thanks! I think you're looking at the situation from an American perspective, where the state's role is less than in Europe. In the Nordic countries, the idea that private enterprises take care of asylum-seekers is a sign of failure of the whole social welfare system.

I would not blame the local cook employed by SODEXO at the university canteen, but I consider it as my global responsibility to remind him or her of the profile of the employer.

The local SODEXO canteen is not doing well, partly because of our campaign, partly because of the low quality of food, and we hope to see its departure from the campus soon.

it's important to look at the interconnections between corporations, from catering to food vouchers to cleaning to deportation flights.