Picketers calling on Subway to stop retaliating and hire Carlos back After a week of pickets won overwhelming support that effectively shut down lunch business at a succession of Subway stores, picketers will spend Monday's lunch rush at the South Lake Union Subway outlet (2002 Fairview Ave) that also serves as head office of Zeer, Inc., the major Seattle Subway franchisee whose retaliatory firing of Carlos Hernandez set off the pickets and boycott.
Last week, stores owned by Zeer, Inc. which normally serve hundreds of customers during a typical weekday lunch rush were almost completely emptied out, as customers overwhelmingly heeded the call to boycott Subway in support Carlos Hernandez, a leader in the fast food workers movement. On Friday — as Carlos's story made national news — several people even showed up at the picket lines spontaneously, simply because that had heard the story on the news and wanted to offer their support.
Who: Fast food workers and community supporters
What: Bring highly-effective picket lines which have shut Subway lunch rushes across the city straight to the store which serves as head office of the major Seattle Subway chain which retaliated against Carlos. Picketers are again calling for a boycott of Subway to strike back against retaliation and support all fast food workers.
When & Where: TODAY - Monday, September 30, 2013, 11:45 am - 1:00 pm during the lunch rush South Lake Union Subway, 2002 Fairview Ave. Note: This Subway also serves as the head office of Zeer, Inc. the Subway chain which fired Carlos. All the Subway restaurants picketed so far are owned by this chain.
What happened: Carlos was recently fired — supposedly over a 66¢ cookie. But Federal charges have been filed alleging that Carlos was actually fired in retaliation for his role in the fast food strikes. When given the facts, customers overwhelmingly agree that what Subway did is wrong — so they turn around, take their business elsewhere, and the join the call to boycott the chain until Carlos gets his job back.
Federal charges: Fast food workers last week filed Federal charges against the Subway fast food chain for firing striker Carlos Hernandez in retaliation for his leadership role in this summer's fast food strikes. The Federal cases name management of the local Subway store where Carlos worked, as well as the chain's corporate parent based in Milford, Connecticut. The Subway chain has agreed at the national level to take responsibility for labor standards at all their stores, whether franchised or corporate owned. Federal labor law clearly bars retaliation against workers for striking.
The cookie excuse: Subway knows that retaliation against striking workers is illegal, so they found a flimsy excuse to use when they fired him: they said it was because he gave a cookie to a 3-year old. The cookie cost 66¢.
Stores emptied by pickets and boycotts last week included:
Bad reviews for Subway's behavior have spread to the Yelp page of the 206 Broadway E Subway store that fired Carlos, as supporters of the fast food workers movement take the picket message to where the customers are — before they even decide what restaurant to go to.
Additional details: Prior to the firing, Subway management had attempted to make strikers sign a "final warning" disciplinary notice about striking. (Copy available online.) They even instructed other employees to not speak to Carlos, because of his role as a leader in the Good Jobs Seattle movement who has repeatedly spoken out to the public and to co-workers about the campaign for good jobs.
Sparked by this summer's fast food & coffee strikes, Good Jobs Seattle is a growing movement which seeks to build a sustainable future for Seattle's economy from the middle out — by turning poverty-wage jobs in fast food and other industries into good jobs that offer opportunities for a better future and pay enough for workers to afford basic necessities like food, clothing and rent. Good Jobs Seattle is supported by organizations including Washington Community Action Network, Working Washington, OneAmerica, SEIU Healthcare 775NW and hundreds of workers and grassroots supporters.