Editorial: Aramark proves unethical once again

Source: Cavalier Daily, April 9, 2015

In a new addition to an existing string of offenses, it has recently come to light that Aramark — the same company that serves food at the University — served garbage to inmates at a prison in Michigan. More specifically, prisoners at Saginaw Correctional Facility have been served food that was previously thrown in the trash. In the past, Aramark has also underfed inmates and fed them dog food, worms and scraps of food from old meals, as well as sold generally degraded qualities of food to prisons. This past summer, the University renewed its contract with Aramark and set the contract for 20 years. This decision came with significant concerns regarding wages, as Aramark can pay its employees as little as the federal minimum wage — $7.25 an hour — and, since they are contract employees, they are not eligible for benefits from the University…. Aramark’s investments are a financial incentive for the University to uphold this existing contract, and at this point, with a contract already set, it is highly unlikely the University would undermine its relationship with Aramark and break that contract. So perhaps this can serve as a lesson for the future, if nothing can be done about the contract now. The University is not just a business — it is also an educational institution and a major employer in the Charlottesville area. While it can be swayed by financial decisions, it should not be constrained by them when ethical issues as egregious as Aramark’s come into play. Other schools, like Yale University and Hampden-Sydney College, have ended contracts with Aramark, even, in Hampden-Sydney’s case, after 56 years of partnership….