“I heard about this Subway thing from my local paper in Bremerton,” said Cory, who had come to Seattle for the picket line near Pike Place Market. “I had to come out here. My granddaughter works at Subway and I’d hate for her to have to put up with this mistreatment. Subway needs to respect its workers and give Carlos his job back.”
Subway fired a striking worker, Carlos, a week after he helped lead a city wide fast food worker strike. In response, the community has created an online petition, given one star reviews on Yelp and taken our message to the streets — six different Subway stores in less than a week.
From the Broadway Subway up on Capitol Hill, the Subway across from the Olive 8 hotel, the Subway at Pike Place Market, to the local headquarters of this chain of Subways at the corner of Denny and Fairview, the pickets have brought the lunch rush at the sandwich maker to a screeching halt.
Customers saw our picket, read the information and turned away – siding with the workers instead of the corporate footlong maker.
A worker wearing a traffic caution vest refused to cross the picket line. “I ain’t eating no scab sandwiches!”
A trio entered the Subway after grabbing a leaflet, read it and then all walked out of the store shaking their heads and giving thumbs up to the crowd.
A man wearing a Sounders knit cap with the Subway logo emblazoned on it, took a flier explaining the situation, stopped and talked with us, pulled out a camera and then refused to eat at Subway.
A crew of construction workers walking up from a job a few blocks away saw the picket line, read the information and turned away, seeking lunch elsewhere.
The community support has been overwhelming and the local media has taken notice as well.
TV cameras from KIRO, KOMO and KING 5 showed up at the various pickets talking to the workers and community members who came out in support of Carlos and his fellow workers. News articles flew off the pages in The Stranger, The Puget Sound Business Journal, KPLU, The Stand, Salon and The Capitol Hill Blog.
“I’m just so grateful for all this support,” said Carlos into a TV camera. “I’m out here because Subway thinks they can keep me quiet and keep its workers down. They can’t. They won’t. We are going to keep fighting for better pay and the right to organize without retaliation. I’ll keep talking to my co-workers, the bosses and anyone who will listen.”