24 Domino's Pizza Workers Walk Off Job After Living Wage Protest
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Two dozen workers at a Hudson Heights Domino's pizzeria who tried to get their jobs back after walking off the job as part of a living wage protest are marching on the store until they are allowed to return to work, they said.
Twenty-four Domino's delivery workers walked off the job at the 736 West 181st St. pizzeria Saturday evening, two days after taking part in a Dec. 5 workers rights rally to call attention to sub-minimum wage pay and other issues, they said.
The workers said they had no choice but to walk off the job, adding that the management retaliated against them for participating in the Thursday rally by forcing them to work extra hours in the kitchen while stripping them of their tip-heavy delivery shifts.
"We decided to talk to the manager, and the manager said: 'If you don't like it, the door's open,'" said Domino's delivery worker Bairon Solorzano, 27, who has worked at the pizzeria for three years. "So we all walked out."
Solorzano, who said he earns $5.65 per hour — far less than the minimum wage, said he and his colleagues tried to return to work on Sunday morning, and were told that their jobs were no longer available.
"They don't want to give us our jobs back and they don't want to talk to us," said Solorzano, 27, added that the company has since started replacing them with employees who departed earlier in the year. "We're not doing this because we don't want to work. We want to work, but we want the abuse to stop."
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa had initially described the action by Domino's as a mass firing, but the workers said they were incorrect.
The ex-employees held a candlelight vigil in front of the shop Monday night and have vowed to gather outside the store in protest of the dispute every night this week.
Almost 200 fast food workers took part in the Dec. 5 protest, which was part of a nationwide movement to demand higher wages. The Washington Heights protest took place in front of the 181st Street McDonald's — where workers picketed over a lack of air conditioning in July — before moving north to Domino's.
Domino's corporate representatives declined comment to DNAinfo New York. "This took place at a store owned by an independent franchisee," Domino's spokesman Chris Brandon said via email. "We have no comment at this time."
A manager at the 181st Street shop also refused to comment.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the workers as having been fired, based on information provided by Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa. In fact, the workers walked out of the job in protest of wage violations.