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Tallahassee SDS protests against contract between FSU and Aramark

Also demands stop HB1, and community control of police
By Jonce Palmer |
March 3, 2021
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Tallahassee SDS protests FSU contract with Aramark.
Tallahassee SDS protests FSU contract with Aramark. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Tallahassee, FL - On February 26, a group of about 20 students and community members assembled at Wescott Fountain at Florida State University to demand the immediate termination of the contract between FSU and food service provider Aramark on the grounds of their use of prison labor and other worker abuses. SDS also demands the termination of House Bill 1, often dubbed the Anti-Protest Bill, sponsored by Governor Ron DeSantis, and for community control of FSUPD under the supervision of a Civilian Police Accountability Council.

SDS was joined by several coalition partners, including the Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC), Abolish Aramark at FSU, FSU College Democrats, Student/Farmworkers Alliance, and Science for the People.

Aramark Corporation has been the subject of public scrutiny in the past decade. The company has been the subject of lawsuits over the years due to unsanitary working conditions that prison workers endured and misleading prisoners into working without pay. The company was under investigation by the New York State Health Department in one of the facilities in which they operate.

“We have to hold the university accountable when they deal with companies like these that profit from prison slave labor. We need to abolish Aramark at FSU,” said Trish Brown, board member of TCAC and member of the #Tally19.

Brown also spoke about claims from the university that Aramark was accepting applications from former Sodexo employees, the university’s previous dining services provider, and that FSU would hire “the majority of existing employees.” However, students are already seeing changes in staff.

Students for a Democratic Society is promoting demands for the termination of the Aramark contract and for the university to never again do business with companies that profit from prison labor. They will continue their campaign for a Civilian Police Accountability Council and “abolishing” Aramark at FSU in order to strike a blow against both hands of the carceral state, policing and prisons.

Jonce Palmer (they/them) is an activist in Tallahassee, Florida.