Volume 77 / Number 36 - Feb. 06 - 12, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Fired Players Club employees picketed outside the club on Gramercy Park S. last week.

Fired employees say Players Club doesn’t play fair

By Jefferson Siegel

On Wednesday night Jan. 30, 18 former employees of the Players Club on Gramercy Park S. protested outside the club. Next to their protest line was one of the large, inflatable rats that are ubiquitous at other labor protests around the city. According to a flier they were handing out, the workers claim the club made a secret deal with a contractor and, in so doing, fired 16 workers.

The workers say that six weeks after signing a contract with Local 6 — the Hotel, Restaurant & Club Employees & Bartenders Union — promising wage and benefit increases, Players Club management fired 84 percent of its workers and “signed a secret agreement” with a caterer, Elegant Affairs, to unlawfully replace them with low-paid employees.

The workers said an arbitrator ordered the club to give the workers their jobs back but that the club refused.

The Players Club was formed in 1888 by Edwin Booth, America’s pre-eminent Shakespearean actor of the time, Mark Twain and a dozen other noted actors.

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