Activists defend fired workers
Oakland, Calif. — Labor and community activists, carrying signs and chanting, marched inside a Jack in the Box restaurant on Telegraph Avenue and 45th Street here on Aug. 29 demanding that three fired workers be reinstated, with no penalties or retaliation. Two of the three had just signed union cards the day before their firing.
Fired worker Euruicia Johnson told WW that she and others had to work through their breaks because the restaurant was so short-staffed. She said that on Aug. 27 she had gotten sick to her stomach at the end of her shift from sheer exhaustion and not being able to eat all day. The next day, when she came to work, the managers accused her of having had a short cash drawer the night before, even though she had counted the proceeds in front of her boss and the amount was actually over, not short. They then paid her off and told her she was fired.
For more than half-an-hour the activists demanded that the manager come out and listen to their demands, but he refused to show his face. All the activists then began calling the chain restaurant’s district office. Police were called but stayed outside.
The organizers let management know they would be filing charges of illegal retaliation unless the employees were reinstated.