It’s Time For Aramark To Go

Thursday , 25, September 2014 Leave a comment

Sex, drugs, exotic protein in the food and now … contract murder. The plot of a hard-boiled crime novel? Not at all, just another chapter in the continuing train wreck saga of Aramark in Michigan.

Rick Snyder had no trouble putting almost 400 Michigan workers on the unemployment line when he hired Aramark to take over the prison food service in the state last year. Northern Michigan can never afford to lose jobs, but that is what happened when Republicans “forced” the Nerd’s hand and he gave Aramark the contract anyway. This decision saved the state a whopping $16 million from the $2 billion it costs to feed Michigans’ prisoners.

Has it been worth it? In the year since Aramark took over there has been a constant stream of violations and problems that should embarrass the governor enough to admit he made a huge mistake knuckling under to Dick DeVos GOP peer pressure and hiring the private food service provider. There’s an election coming up, but Snyder doesn’t seem to be aware or care about that or any other of the smörgåsbord of scandals currently rocking his administration. The accountant nerd crunched the numbers and that’s good enough for him, so it has to be good enough for the rest of us.

Except it’s not good enough. Prison food doesn’t have to be foie gras and lobster tails, but it must be free of food-borne illness and prepared in a clean facility. It would also help to hire competent people who have experience working not only in an institution-sized kitchen but be properly trained how to work with prison populations to keep both prisoners and staff safe. It’s clear that Aramark hired people willing to accept much lower pay with no benefits or union representation who don’t understand any of these things, and think they can form relationships with prisoners.

The old adage, “you get what you pay for” applies here.

Michigan’s prisons once had a professional staff of food service workers who were well compensated and did their job. Was it worth it to pink slip them and save a few bucks? The Nerd and the rest of the Michigan GOP need to learn that there is more to a prison than numbers. It’s about people. On November 4 we can fix this problem and many other problems the GOP shackled to this state. Vote Democratic Party clean the trash out of Lansing.

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