To: Kathleen McCartney & Claudia San Pedro
Sonic Workers Call on Smith College to Stand in Solidarity
The CEO of Sonic, Claudia San Pedro was recently appointed to Smith College's board of trustees. Their mission statement reads:
"Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. A college of and for the world, Smith links the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, thereby developing engaged global citizens and leaders to address society’s challenges."
The conditions the Sonic workers are forced to endure on a daily are not compatible with these values. During the pandemic, employees' health was treated with reckless abandon. No mask policy was ever enforced on customers, even as rates of viral transmission skyrocketed in the US. Carhops are paid a tipped wage of $5 per hour without the proper software to receive tips via card. This puts many Sonic employees in a position where they are forced to supplement their wages by applying for public assistance despite working full time.
I urge Smith College to hold San Pedro accountable for her exploitation of Sonic employees. These business practices are not in line with the institutional values of Smith College, and she should be encouraged to meet the demands of Sonic Workers or step down from her role.
Why is this important?
These issues are continuing to gain media attention, and publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The American Prospect, and NBC News have platformed the voices of Sonic workers. In the wake of this global health crisis, fewer workers are willing to tolerate these conditions. Soon there will be no choice but to take workers' demands seriously.