Some employees at a famous restaurant NYC’s Central Park got so fed up with the way they were being treated by their bosses that they took matters into their own hands and began secretly tape-recording workplace conversations.
According to a report in the NY Daily News, dozens of the restaurant’s waiters and dishwashers spent the last year wearing miniature cassette recorders while on the job.
Among the conversations caught on tape are warnings from the restaurant’s owner to employees that, if they voted to unionize, he will “go out of business.” Workers told the News that the owner and other supervisors routinely threatened and retaliated against them in their attempts to form a union.
The president of Local 6 of the hotel and restaurant workers union called the tapes “irrefutable proof” that the restaurant has “repeatedly violated federal labor laws.” He has asked the National Labor Relations Board to investigate the workers’ allegations.
“They treat us like animals in that place,” said one banquet waiter still employed at the restaurant. “Many times, we work double shifts from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., but they don’t even give us decent meals to eat or proper work breaks, or pay us all our overtime.”
The restaurant owner calls these allegations “absolutely untrue.”