The Nook Espresso Bar and Lounge closed its Bedford location in late July of this year. It did so suddenly and without giving any kind of warning to its seven employees. When the owners incorrectly calculated their notice pay, the baristas fought back, with help from the Halifax Workers Action Centre. Lisa Cameron reports.
Judy Haiven visited a Halifax coffee shop at around 11 AM this Remembrance Day morning. It was good.
We talk with Jackie Swaine of the SEIU and Danny Cavanagh, president of the NSFL, who together are calling for legislation with teeth to protect workers against wage theft and contract flipping.
News release by SEIU Local 2: The Smiling Goat Baristas are still owed thousands of dollars. The owner, Kit Singh, is ignoring phone calls and emails from his current and former employees. Many former workers don’t know where to turn or how to hold Kit accountable.
As if owing workers’ wages and not living up to the terms of a collective agreement isn’t messy enough, now Kit Singh, the owner of six Smiling Goat cafes in Halifax, is accused of firing a worker for speaking out about not getting paid.
From wage theft to unjust terminations, the Smiling Goat saga goes from bad to worse. Keith Karding was fired over the Easter weekend by Kit Singh. Keith has been very vocal and public about the issue of unpaid wages, as well as in his support of the unionization drive.
Charlie Huntley, a Smiling Goat employee and union activist who helped organize the Just Us! cafes in Halifax several years ago writes on the ongoing fight against their new boss and why it is so very important to join a union. “I don’t know about you, but we, the workers of the Smiling Goat, are finished with wage-theft as usual. We are finished with bad bosses in the service industry. We encourage all service industry workers to unionize and fight back against the bullshit at work.”
Some hopeful signs for the Smiling Goat baristas, but still a ways to go. We visit this morning’s information picket at the Lower Water Street location.