Pols Pimping for Sodexho

Ideas and Issues Labor Organizing

Richard GephardtPhoenix I’m not shocked, just disgusted.  A couple of days ago the story came out that the giant, French-based minimal wage, international labor contractor, Sodexho, had hired on Dick Gephardt, who in another life was a lion for labor as the one-time minority leader for the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, who often drew standing ovations telling about his father, the Teamsters mild truck driver from St. Louis.  Those were the days of course:  the days when he needed labor’s support and wanted to run for President.  Now his relationships with labor seemed to have sweated down to being just another angle to make a buck.

He’s not alone of course, god no!  His former chief of staff signed on with him, as did veterans of other labor backed candidates like Al Gore, John Kerry, and John Edwards.  But, what makes this so treacherous is the fact that former Congressman Gephardt signed on with Sodexho deliberately to help catch flack for them and offset the pressure being applied by SEIU in trying to get justice for Sodexho workers here and abroad.  That’s disgusting!

But lucrative!  According to the Hill blog Sodexho has been busy:

    The company has also hired Jeff Trammell, a former senior adviser to ex-Vice President Al Gore, to lobby for the firm.
    The contracts with Gephardt’s lobbying group and Trammell and Co. represent the first time the food-services company has turned to outside lobbyists to work in Washington, according to a review of records by The Hill. Overall, the group has spent more than $5.6 million on internally hired lobbyists since 2002.
    “We have hired those two groups for general business purposes,” said Jaya Bohlman, Sodexo’s vice president for public relations, in a voice mail to The Hill. Sodexo representatives did not respond to requests to elaborate further on the two lobbying contracts.
    Gephardt Group Government Affairs has been lobbying for Sodexo since May 5, according to lobbying records, while Trammell and Co. has been lobbying for the company since May 3. Mike Shaffer, a former deputy director for constituent outreach for the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), is also lobbying for Sodexo at Trammell and Co.

We knew him when turns out to be when he still stood up for the working man, rather than just being another flack for a another union busting company.

Sad, but true!  His father’s probably rolling over in his grave!