Subway workers launch 3-day strike over violence, crime at Westchester sandwich shop – Daily News

Workers at a Subway in Westchester launched a three-day strike Friday, March 1, claiming they’ve endured a wave of violence, including a machete-wielding man who entered the sandwich shop and screamed at employees.

Armed with signs reading, “Fast food workers on strike” and “Know your rights,” employees at the 8406 Lincoln Blvd. business say it has become a target for car thieves, drug addicts and violent criminals.

The workers, represented by the California Fast Food Workers Union, were supported Friday by other union members who marched in solidarity.

Related: $20 minimum wage coming to California fast food workers

Subway employee Sabina Gutierrez came face-to-face with the machete-toting customer.

“The guy came in and asked for five free sandwiches for himself and his children,” the 59-year-old Los Angeles resident said. “When I told him I wasn’t allowed to give out free food, he started screaming a bunch of bad words. And when he left, I could see he had a machete tucked into his waistband.”

The encounter left her frazzled, and the situation worsened when management allegedly failed to do anything about it.

Also see: Pizza Hut franchises in California laying off 2,000 drivers in 2024

“The feeling that we were alone and that our management would not help us was disheartening,” Gutierrez said.

Representatives with Subway could not be reached for comment.

Workers are calling on Subway to improve safety procedures. They’re also demanding that Los Angeles lawmakers pass a citywide Fast Food Fair Work ordinance with training to help them understand when and how to speak up to protect themselves. (Photo courtesy of the California Fast Food Workers Union)

Workers are calling on Subway to improve it safety procedures. They want security officers, training on de-escalation, alerts and evacuation plans, and medical and mental health care for employees exposed to workplace violence.

They’re also demanding that Los Angeles lawmakers pass a citywide Fast Food Fair Work ordinance with mandatory “know your rights” training to help them understand when and how to speak up to protect themselves.

Also see: California workers will get five sick days instead of three under law signed by Gov. Newsom

Liliana Garcia, another employee at the Westchester restaurant, said her car was stolen in November from the restaurant’s front parking lot.

“I was taking out the trash and saw that my car wasn’t there,” she said. “I found it a month ago when I got a ticket for parking in a street-sweeping location. It was about 8 miles away from where I work. There was a bunch of trash in the car and one of the tires was ripped.”

Garcia managed to get her car back in shape, but there is no record of who stole it because the Subway store has no security cameras outside.

“I felt like it was the final blow,” she said. “A lot of things have happened here.”

More union news: UCLA, UC Riverside students petition to remove Starbucks from campuses

In a Feb. 29 complaint filed with Cal/OSHA, Gutierrez lamented the lack of workplace training that could help employees in times of danger.

“I have never received any training on how to de-escalate conflict or how to deal with violent situations,” she said. “I also didn’t know until I learned from a staff person at the California Fast Food Workers Union that employees have the right to complain to CalOSHA about unsafe conditions.”

Earlier this month, hundreds of cooks and cashiers joined together in Los Angeles to launch the California Fast Food Workers Union. The statewide union — the first of its kind in the nation — is committed to advancing racial and economic justice in the Golden State by fighting for fair pay, safe and healthy workplaces and a voice for all workers in the fast-food industry.

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