Danny Glover was arrested along with 11 other protesters. Those arrested included the outgoing head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Andy Stern. He recently announced he was stepping down, although he has two more years left as the head. Speaking on NPR, he said it was time for "fresh blood." While union membership has declined during his time as SEIU president, the SEIU's memebership has increased.
In terms of this protest, it involved the French company Sodexo. The protest took place at the U.S. offices of the company, in Gaithersburg, MD. Others arrested included former Sodexo canteen cashier Terry Shelley. The group was arrested after crossing a police line outside the company's offices, refusing to step back.
The twelve, including Danny Glover, were issued citations for trespassing and released. Police stated that the dozen could face a $1,000 fine or 90 days in jail.
Actions like the one involving Danny Glover have taken place at 11 sites across the U.S. The actions were reportedly taken after 16 Sodexo workers, including Shelly, were laid off after trying to unionize or becoming involved in union activities. Sodexo said it was not against unionization, per se. Instead, it accused the SEIU of inciting the Sodexo employees. Two
"We can tell you categorically that Sodexo recognizes and respects our workers' rights to join or not join a union as they choose. [...] Most of the participants of these orchestrated events have not been Sodexo employees, but rather students and others who have been incited by SEIU."
Meanwhile, at the demonstration, Danny Glover made the following statement: "This is a global corporation with global responsibility and we are going to hold them accountable to that responsibility." At the same time, Stern added, ""Sodexo makes its money by turning good, high-paying, benefited, full-time jobs into low-wage, unbenefitted, part-time jobs."
The above statement by Stern is something that many companies have been accused of doing, including such giants as Wal-Mart. Showing the global nature of the protest, protesters burst into cheers and began chanting, in French, "Tous ensemble" or "All together." Union representatives from as far as Britain and France came to the event.
Danny Glover is perhaps best known for his role in the series of "Lethal Weapon" movies. There, he played Detective Roger Murtaugh, and was paired with the aforementioned Mel Gibson. His most recent role was in "2012."
Written by Michael Santo