Aramark Corporation, known also as Aramark, is an American food service, facilities, and uniform services provider to clients in industries including education, healthcare, business, corrections, and leisure. It operates in North America (United States and Canada) and an additional 20 countries, including United Kingdom, Germany, Philippines, South Korea, Chile, Ireland and Spain.
Aramark uniform services began as Davidson Brothers in 1936 by Davre and Henry Davidson. Davidson Brothers started by offering vending services to plant employees employed in the aviation industry in Southern California.
In 1959, Davre Davidson partnered with William Fishman to found ARA (Automatic Retailers of America), which became a publicly traded company one year later in 1960. In 1968, ARA provided services at the Mexico City Olympic Games, the first of 16 Games they have serviced, including Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
In 1969, ARA officially became ARA Services, to show its increasing range of holdings. In 1983, Joseph Neubauer became the CEO of ARA Services and 13 months later, in 1984, Neubauer led a team of officers to ward off a hostile takeover bid by organizing a management buyout.
ARA Services re-named itself Aramark uniform services in 1994. In 2001, Aramark uniform services returned to the New York Stock Exchange as a public company under the RMK symbol. In 2006, a team of lenders led by Neubauer (and including CCMP Capital, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Warburg Pincus) offered the purchase of all outstanding shares of the Aramark Corporation, which was accepted by investors. The union was completed in 2007.
In 2004, Aramark uniform services obtained a 90% stake in the Irish catering business Campbell Catering. In 2006, Aramark uniform services added Seamless. Aramark uniform services sold its majority shares in Seamless in 2012.
In July 2009, Aramark uniform services and the Colorado Rockies started what is assumed to be the first gluten-free food booth in major league baseball. By 2010, Aramark uniform services had gluten-free foods available at all 12 of its major league baseball customers.
In May 2012, Aramark uniform services sent a press release that its board of directors had nominated Eric J. Foss as CEO and that Joseph Neubauer would continue as the company’s Chairman. In December 2014, Joseph Neubauer declared his retirement and Foss was nominated as the company’s next chairman.
Aramark uniform services collaborated with The Humane Society in August 2017, part of their campaign to expand plant-based food offerings for customers. The healthy business includes a few plant-based culinary trainings over a 6-month time period.
In modern years, Aramark uniform services has completed a number of tasks to boost the way consumers see its social responsibility image. In 2015, Aramark uniform services partnered with the American Heart Association to lower the number of calories, saturated fat, and sodium by twenty percent and boost the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains by 20% in the two billion meals it handles every year by 2020.
In 2015, Aramark uniform services also worked with the Humane Society of the U.S.A on an all-encompassing original animal care policy including buying only uncaged eggs by 2020 and doing away with all pork from animals raised utilizing gestation crates by 2017. The company also stopped the purchase of foie gras in 2011.
As well as the animal care supply chain promises in 2015, Aramark uniform services also proclaimed a total change to sustainably sourced canned skipjack and albacore tuna in the U.S. by April 1, 2016.
In 2008, Aramark Building Community, an entire company volunteer campaign, was started to assist neighborhoods strengthen community centers as well as offer help for job counseling classes, healthy eating and health education, and minimal human requirements for families and neighborhoods. Beginning in 2008 the corporation has spent more than $9 million in consulting, finance and in-kind benefits to make stronger communities. Almost 30,000 employees have volunteered their abilities through tons of volunteer projects, helping millions of persons in many cities through its frequent Aramark Building Community Day programs.
A spring 2009 study of over 92,000 students agreed with the company’s idea of trayless eating, which was invented to lower the quantity of school trash.
As a result of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s charity Let’s Move campaign in February 2010, Aramark uniform services, including other large food service companies, promised to lower the content of fat, sugar and salt in their food over the upcoming 5 years. To help fight obese children, in 2014, Aramark uniform services worked with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on an activity intended as health education in poor neighborhoods.
Aramark uniform services has accepted awards for its integrity work habits, diversity and inclusion efforts, practice of hiring veterans and its employee recognition and nutritional lifestyle pledges.
FY2018 Management Bonuses
Three days before FY2018 management bonus checks were to be issued, an internal memo communicated to the management team that incentive bonuses were delayed for 3 months. No excuse was given. This was a mystery due to the company’s 401k match at the plan minimum after a “phenomenal” year as reported by the CEO.http://www.philly.com/business/aramark-management-bonuses-delayed-k-match-cut-20190130.html
Labor law violations
In April 2010, Aramark uniform services and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers arrived at an agreement that increase wages for tomato pickers by 70−80%.
Aramark uniform services has also been involved in a few scandals about labor activities and business integrity. These comprise of sacking workers for disclosing unhygienic food situations, paying low salaries, underpaying employees, owing backpay, and firing or laying off the positions of employees who make Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims.
Food safety issues
In 2013, an examination by Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Chris Hedges found that the meals given to prisoners at Burlington County Jail in New Jersey were inferior and rotten, and often caused prisoners to get sick with diarrhea and vomiting. Maggots found in the food preparation locations at Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan may have been the place of an outbreak of food-borne sickness. Maggots were also discovered in Aramark food packages at Michigan’s Charles Egeler Reception & Guidance Center and 2 Ohio correctional facilities, the Ohio Reformatory for Women and Trumbull Correctional Institute. Aramark uniform services, nonetheless, was absolved by the Michigan Department of Corrections of any culpability for inmate illness and for insects in Michigan. Ohio and Michigan penalized Aramark uniform services $270,000 and $200,000 apiece.
In April 2015, the board of directors of The Cavalier Daily, an alumni-run newspaper at the University of Virginia, declared that Aramark uniform services actually “served garbage” to prisoners in the Saginaw Correctional Facility in Freeland, Michigan. It also made note that Aramark uniform services has previously “underfed inmates and fed them dog food, worms and scraps of food from old meals” and protested that the University should reexamine its ties with the food services company in light of these moral issues. Michigan’s supervision of Aramark’s operation was stated as insufficient in a report dated in August 2015 by the group Progress Michigan after Michigan voted to terminate the agreement.
Similarly, Aramark uniform services has been blamed for stingy portion sizes, food virus issues, and overbilling state governments (Michigan, Kentucky, and Florida) that have served their food in correctional institutions; a Kentucky jail uproar is said to have been started by the poor condition of the food Aramark uniform services gave to prisoners.
Direct Provision Asylum Centers
In Ireland, Aramark uniform services has been blamed for its supervision of 3 ‘direct provision’ locations, where those seeking refuge in Ireland must not leave until their registration is finished, sometimes taking years. Proponents have wanted to boycott Aramark uniform services for making money from the direct provision program, as well as the supposed abuse of refuge applicants in Aramark-run programs. In 2014, refuge seekers in Meath started a hunger strike because of the “unacceptable living standards” in the Aramark-run program. In 2018, Aramark uniform services had to give an apology after a mother of 3 from Zimbabwe was denied a slice of bread for her sickly infant. Soon after, the Union of Students in Ireland campaigned to start a boycott of Aramark uniform services because of its direct provision ties, continuing on from the ‘Aramark off our campus’ campaigns in Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and The University of Limerick.
Chicago Public Schools
Aramark uniform services has been accused of the “filthy conditions” in Chicago Public Schools after the privatization of custodial services and Aramark uniform services obtaining a $260 million agreement for their supervision. Answering these reports, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said “Aramark’s job is to clean the schools, so our principals and teachers can focus on their fundamental responsibility: education. They will either live up to that contract and clean up the schools or they can clean out their desks and get out.”
Wichita Falls Independent School District
Aramark uniform services was engaged for $2.65 million per year to give custodial services on 28 schools and 3 administration offices by the Wichita Falls Independent School District in 2015. The district dismissed Aramark’s agreement and engaged another company due to multiple accusations about poor quality. A ruling issued by the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District found that one high school was plagued with rats and mice. Janet Powell, the district’s director of support services said, “Everyone on the committee felt lied to and deceived (by Aramark).”
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Main article: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Since 2013, various Aramark uniform services contractors providing food services in Ohio correctional institutions have been layed off or otherwise given reprimands for improper behavior with inmates such as sexual intercourse, prohibited communication, and trafficking unauthorized items. At least 204 Aramark uniform services contractors have been barred from entry to Ohio prisons for these infractions. On December 1, 2015 prisoners employed in the kitchen under Aramark uniform services supervision put on a strike because they had to cut poultry with pan tops as opposed to being allowed to use meat slicers. An Aramark uniform services contractor was given a write-up over the riot.
Since Ohio began using Aramark uniform services in 2013, the Ohio Civil Services Employee Association has tried to win back control of the food services agreement. A bid turned in by the union in fall of 2015 collapsed after a state report discovered it did not adequately show forecasted expenses. Aramark’s agreement was renewed. The chief of the union said Aramark uniform services “continues to violate their contract every day with food shortages, health and safety violations, bad employee conduct, low food quality.” As of late 2015, the union was seeking arbitration versus the state over this agreement.
In 2014, Aramark uniform services was given 2 fines totaling $272,200 for contract abuses. The state offered to credit money spent on additional contractor training towards the fines. The same year 9 Aramark uniform services employees were sacked for illegal possession breeches and 15 were sacked for “security violations.”
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