Fired delivery workers picketing outside Saigon Grill on University Pl.
Fired workers hope to turn the tables on restaurant
By Lincoln Anderson
Following the National Labor Relations Boards issuing of a complaint against Saigon Grill restaurant at the end of last month, fired delivery workers are continuing to picket outside the restaurants University Pl. location. An expedited hearing of the issue by the N.L.R.B. is set for Oct. 30.
The restaurant, which also has a location at 90th St. and Amsterdam Ave., is accused of firing 22 delivery workers in early March after they tried to organize a union to fight for higher pay. According to Josephine Lee, an organizer with the Justice Will Be Served! Campaign, the workers were being paid $1.60 per hour and were demanding the minimum wage. The workers claim that management called them dirty dogs and interrogated and threatened them before firing them.
The deliverymen have been picketing the restaurant five days a week, twice per day for the past seven months, demanding their jobs back and calling on people to boycott the eatery. If the N.L.R.B. finds for the workers and issues an order against the restaurant, Saigon Grill would not only have to hire them back but also pay them all their wages for the period they were fired.
According to Justice Will Be Served!, the restaurants owners, Simon, Michelle, Richard, Leana Nget and Tony Truong, have refused to negotiate with the deliverymen or provide an explanation for the labor law violations.
The picketing will continue until they reinstate the workers, said Lee. And we also want to let the people know that the federal government has filed this complaint.
When a reporter called Saigon Grill and asked to speak to the manager, the woman who answered the phone said the manager wasnt there. When asked the managers name, she said she didnt know it.