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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - Olympia GMB

Industrial Workers of the World - Olympia GMB

This is the news page for our Olympia General Membership Branch. To get an overview about our contact info, news and events, please visit our home page.


Pizza Time Negotiations Break Down

Wed, 03 Aug 2005 21:50:00 +0000

(image) The former Pizza Time workers met with owner Heath Flores to discuss thereinstatement of four workers who lost their jobs in February. Floresbroke off negotiations on Tuesday by flatly refusing all six terms of thewritten proposal. We had hoped Flores would work with us to reach anagreement. We offered to draw up a new proposal with Flores' input, butthat idea was refused as well. Flores’ final offer was the same as hisfirst—we could turn in applications and may be hired and fired at will. We feel Flores is not taking the negotiations seriously and never intendedto consider our position.

History of Negotiations with Heath Flores

The former Pizza Time workers tried to arrange a meeting three timesbefore the store re-opened, but were met with closed minds on eachoccasion. On July 20th we returned to the corner of 4th and Jefferson tohold picket signs and share our story. At this point Flores agreed tomeet and discuss the terms for reinstatement in writing.At the first two negotiation meetings on July 29th and August 1st, we madeit clear that there was no animosity against Flores personally; what wewanted was resolution for the injustices served to us by former ownersShane Bloking and Richard Kelley. We asked Flores to recognize that theworkers’ unity and the community’s stand for justice ultimately droveShane Bloking out of the state, and gave Flores the opportunity to ownOlympia Pizza Time.

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Picket Line Suspended, Official Negotiations Begin Soon

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 04:53:00 +0000

(image) Disclaimer - This is not an official campaign of the IWW, but Olympia IWW members have been supporting this struggle from the beginning, and they have requested we cover this struggle, and in the interests of solidarity, we cover it here. 

In the past few days the owners of Pizza Time have agreed to meet with the Pizza Time workers to discuss reinstatement, and to negotiate a written agreement to protect basic worker's rights. The picket line has been suspended as a show of good faith and to show the owners that we can work together. We hope to begin negotiations this week, and we need help from everyone who supports our cause. We look forward to working with the new owners. More details will come soon.

One Day Only - Thursday, July 28th: Buy Pizza Time Pizza to Support the Workers!!!
We are asking community members to buy a Pizza Time Pizza Thursday, July 28th to show the owners that the community would support Pizza Time if they became socially responsible. Please call (360) 956-9020 to order a pizza on Thursday only.

**** Tell Pizza Time you are ordering a Pizza because you support the workers and want them rehired with protection for their rights in writing.****

If you don’t live in Olympia, call them and tell them you would order a pizza if you were in the area.

We need your support more than ever at this critical time as negotiations officially begin. This is a One Day Only event.

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Pizza Workers in Olympia Continue Strike

Wed, 20 Jul 2005 07:44:00 +0000

(image) In February of 2005, all nine Pizza Time workers in Olympia WA and theirmanager Alex Wentz went on strike to take a stand against racism and tostand up for their rights as workers. Shane Bloking, a previous managerat Pizza Time, bought into the business and immediately fired twocompetent employees. Shane has a history of uttering racist comments andit came to no surprise when Abara, the store’s only African-Americanemployee, was the first to be fired Shane’s second day. Shane started toreplace the workers with his incompetent brother and his friends.

Instead of watching our co-workers get fired for no good reasonone-by-one, we held a meeting at Alex’s house that night. The remainingworkers didn’t want to work at Pizza Time under these conditions. Wechose to take a stand on Feb 11th. We drafted a list of basic demandsthat night that had to be unconditionally met or we would stop making anddelivering pizza and go on strike. The demands were:

  • 1) Abara and John get their jobs back Jeff Bloking (the owner's brother)has to go.
  • 2) No workers are fired without Just Cause and without warning
  • 3) No more racial slurs
  • 4) A friendly, clean and safe work environment
  • 5) Standardized breaks
  • 6) Respect our right to unionize

The next day all the workers rode down to the shop in the bright orangepizza van. We gave each other high fives the whole way down to the shop. Shane arrived at work over 7 hours late and found his entire staff waitingfor him, except for Jesus who was out on delivery. Once he walked throughthe door we confronted him with our list of demands.

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Update From the Pizza Time Lockout

Wed, 11 May 2005 20:50:54 +0000

From - March 26, 2005.

Olympia Pizza Time franchise owner Richard Kelley locked out all nine striking workers by closing the store on Feb 21st. The last negotiations between Pizza time workers and Kelley broke down when Kelley insisted he would open the store if workers accepted wages below state law. Pizza time workers refused Kelley.s unreasonable condition.

Pizza Time workers took their case to the National Labor Relations Board. A federal investigator interviewed the workers and Kelley. The investigator informed the workers that federal labor law offers no protection from owners who close their own stores. Pizza Time workers are in need of a labor lawyer.

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