Restaurant workers were fired after a walkout protest because they were “overworked like slaves.”


Restaurant workers were fired after a walkout protest because they were “overworked like slaves.”

After holding a strike in protest of higher wages and alleged terrible working conditions, restaurant workers in Missouri were fired.

After failing to show up for their duties on Sunday, at least seven employees at the Aviary Cafe in Springfield were fired.

Following accusations that they were overworked during the pandemic, a handful of workers have staged pickets requesting a salary raise to $20 an hour, more autonomy over their work schedules, maternity leave, health insurance, and sufficient staffing.

Perry Ashlock, who worked in the kitchen at the Aviary Cafe, stated on Facebook, “They have told us time and time again recently that we have smashed various sales records for the restaurant.”

“We’ve all managed to pull it off with a little staff. Our employees work from 7:30 a.m. till far beyond closing time.

“We couldn’t keep new staff because they didn’t like the amount of work or the hours they were required to work. Most, if not all, of us were promised raises but never received them,” Ashlock continued.

“Our final straw came when our management team disappeared in the middle of a Saturday lunch rush (not the first time) and left their understaffed employees to run the restaurant for them on one of the busiest days of the week.”

As the caf struggled to find employees during the epidemic, Ericka Loredo, an Aviary sous cook, said she had been “consistently” working 65 hours over the summer.

“Because you’re trying to get things done, I often had 14-hour workdays. From 7:30 a.m. to the end of the day. But, once again, there were no breaks. The environment is extremely harmful in general. I felt as if I were a slave. We were treated like slaves because we were overworked,” she told the Springfield News-Ledger.

Even after numerous employees were fired, the employees continued to picket the restaurants on Monday.

One of the protest organizers, Nick Holland, told the Springfield News-Leader that he “knew he wouldn’t get his job back” after participating in the walkout, but hoped that their efforts would lead to better working conditions for those who remained.

He stated he didn’t blame the other employees who didn’t participate. This is a condensed version of the information.


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