FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back

thumbnail_stradusters

Photo: José Negroni

A group of servers who serenade patrons at Time Square’s Ellen Stardust have now, formed a union with–wait for it–the Wobblies (a nickname for the Industrial Workers of the World).

After they unionized earlier this year as Stardust Family United, the owner, Ken Strum, said, Dream on–and wrecked the lives of over 30 staffers by firing them. Now they are picketing outside the venue weekly while singing old union and railroad songs.  The waitstaff, consisting of aspiring Broadway actors, decided to organize when new policies prohibited them from easily switching shifts to attend auditions.

“We want to be clear that all of our terminations have been for valid reasons,” said Mr. Strum. “They have been perfectly appropriate under federal and labor laws.”

Stardust Family United has filed multiple Unfair Labor Practices with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for violations ranging from threats and intimidation to mass terminations.  An investigation is ongoing.  This all came about when Stardust Family United was referred by the Wobblies to their lawyer, Ben Dictor.

The artists are refusing to accept what’s happened and so they’ve set out to show themselves as the good guys, in hopes of being portrayed that way in the media (the great privilege of having the First Amendment).  And along with a Democratic-led NLRB, organized labor can also sometimes be life’s only recourse for mistreated employees. All the while, workers and sympathizers have been holding sip-ins to voice their concerns.

“Basically, supporters of the movement organized tables of people to go into the restaurant during the dinner rush, to order small and tip big!” said Kristine Bogan, a terminated employee turned picketer. “They chanted and passed out flyers to customers inside, even joining in on the song ‘Union Maid,’ which we often sing now. “

Other locals have started showing up at the venue to manifest their support for the waiters, also known as stardusters.  Activists from the clerical workers’ history-rich OPEIU’s Local 153 literally froze tourists, police officers, and security guards outside of the 1950s-themed diner when they began, rather plainly, to sing Utah Phillips and Pete Seeger songs.  Once all the rallygoers began singing in unison, the people’s history in the lyrics became fervently dramatized as in a Broadway musical.

More articles by:

November 14, 2018
Charles Pierson
Unstoppable: The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and NAFTA
Sam Bahour
Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take
Cesar Chelala
How a Bad Environment Impacts Children’s Health
George Ochenski
What Tester’s Win Means
Louisa Willcox
Saving Romania’s Brown Bears, Sharing Lessons About Coxistence, Conservation
George Wuerthner
Alternatives to Wilderness?
Robert Fisk
Izzeldin Abuelaish’s Three Daughters were Killed in Gaza, But He Still Clings to Hope for the Middle East
Dennis Morgan
For What?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Government is Our Teacher
Bill Martin
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
Rivera Sun
After the Vote: An Essay of the Man from the North
Jamie McConnell
Allowing Asbestos to Continue Killing
Thomas Knapp
Talkin’ Jim Acosta Hard Pass Blues: Is White House Press Access a Constitutional Right?
Bill Glahn
Snow Day
November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail