UPDATE (Sept. 27, 2013) — Today (Friday) will be the 4th straight day of Subway pickets. Join them from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the lunch rush at Seattle’s Pike Place Market Subway, 106 Pike St.
SEATTLE (Sept. 25, 2013) — Dozens of fast food workers and their supporters picketed Tuesday outside the Capitol Hill Subway store, effectively zeroing-out business at the sandwich restaurant during the lunch rush. A total of three sandwiches were purchased between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. — down from a typical count of well over 100.
The energetic picket line by several dozen workers and supporters was a show of support for Carlos Hernandez, a leader in the fast food workers’ movement who was recently fired — supposedly over a 66¢ cookie. Federal Unfair Labor Practices charges have been filed alleging that Carlos was actually fired in retaliation for his role as a leader in the fast food workers’ movement.
Picket lines will continue at multiple Subway locations as customer support for Carlos and the fast food workers movement grows and spreads throughout the city.
TAKE A STAND! Show your support for Carlos and other fast-food workers trying to raise their standards of living by joining in the pickets! Another lunch-hour picket line will be held today (Wednesday, Sept. 25) at the Belltown Subway store at 1800 8th Ave in Seattle. Can’t make it today? More lunchtime pickets of Subway locations are planned throughout the week. Visit and “like” the Good Jobs Seattle Facebook page for the latest info.
BACKGROUND: Carlos Hernandez is a Subway worker who helped lead the fast food strikes this summer to demand that the huge, profitable fast food industry treat their workers with respect. Now Subway has fired him — supposedly over a 66¢ cookie they said he gave to a 3-year-old.
Federal charges have been filed alleging that Carlos was actually fired in retaliation for his role as a leader in the fast food workers movement. 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.
Everyone should have the right to speak out for a better life — that’s why workers have a legal right to strike. It’s unacceptable that instead of listening to workers and considering their concerns, Subway fired a leader in the fast food workers’ movement and is trying to intimidate other workers from speaking out.
Prior to the firing of Hernandez, 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 and 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.