By Gainesville Restaurant Workers Alliance
Eight employees of local Asian-American restaurant Tasty Buddha announced to their shift manager that they would not be clocking in July 20 because the funds linked to their paychecks were not available on payday. In lieu of washing dishes, taking orders, and chopping vegetables, we would announce our strike, walk a picket line, and encourage boycott of the business. Shortly after, the owner Parker Van Hart arrived to inform us that we all have lost our jobs for not clocking in. The strikers corrected him by simply stating, “Actually, we are on strike right now, protected under federal labor law (National Labor Relations Act). You firing us would be illegal.”
Knowing our rights was vital to the success of our story. The immense community support sustained us: the Industrial Workers of the World brought us water, sunscreen, snacks, and solidarity on the picket line. Individuals with labor experience and members of the ISO had our back. Staffers of bigger unions were always a phone call away to answer any questions.