‘Sodexo bill’ focuses on worker rights

To the disappointment of several progressive Vermont lawmakers, the Sodexo Bill was once again rejected in the Vermont senate.

Sen. Phil Baruth is the lead sponsor of the bill. He said that this proposed bill was created in response to unfair conditions Sodexo workers have been experiencing via penalizations for taking sick days they were told they were entitled to.

Baruth is a professor at UVM in the English department, and decided to sponsor the bill after hearing complaints from UVM Sodexo workers. “I was approached by people who are worried about policy because they love their jobs, and don’t want to go to work sick,” Baruth said.

For the past 58 years, UVM and Sodexo have had a partnership despite complaints from students about food quality and company ethics. A new contract between the two is scheduled to begin July 1 according to UVM’s Vice Provost Annie Stevens.

Both Democrats and Republicans voted against the bill 14-12, as many felt it was targeting a single employer. Baruth disagreed, arguing that it was “targeting a practice” instead.