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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Protesting Lanesplitter Pizza Employee Demands Run From Practical To Unusual

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 8:55 AM

We told you last week that Lanesplitter employees had walked out in protest of working conditions at the Temescal pizzeria. Well, now the labor dispute is getting slightly bizarre.

The protesting workers sent a list of demands to Lanesplitter management that range from the practical to the unusual (see the full list below). Management refused to respond to questions about the demands, stating simply that they were "responding to workers internally" and that they are "open to dialogue with their employees."

See also: Lanesplitter Pizza Employees Protest Working Conditions With Walkout

Here are the demands:

  • anger management classes for all senior management
  • 15 dollars an hour minimum (before tips) for all kitchen staff, dishwashers, and drivers
  • starting wage at 9.5 dollars an hour for all servers and front-of-house staff
  • yearly raises for all staff
  • average of 25 hours of work a week to be eligible for insurance after a 3 month probationary period
  • paid half-hour breaks
  • we demand an end to mandatory uniforms but will continue to meet health code requirements
  • we demand an end to the use of the fist in the logo on t-shirts as it alludes to the Black Panther movement and is offensive to their legacy
  • we demand a return of all dolls to the person of their likeness as we refuse to have the company continuing to capitalize off the image of of current and past staff

Amanda Swift, one worker who participated in the walkout, told us of the demands, "We recognize that these things are very common on our industry. We do not claim to have it worse than many people who work in food service. We simply hope to illuminate these things and mike it clear that although we are replaceable, it is not without consequences."

But really, no more uniforms? Swift told us that uniforms were "not a huge sticking point," but that uniforms weren't always part of the job requirements. They are simply "another one of those trends toward a fast-food style place instead of a small local place that works with the interests of their employees in mind."

Although it seems unlikely the workers who walked out will have their demands met -- or their jobs back -- Lanesplitter says it is trying to improve its communication with current employees about scheduling and benefits, the initial reasons for the uproar. According to Dan TK, one of Lanesplitter's co-owners, "It is in our interest to have people maintain a schedule that enables benefits." However, he also said, "In our efforts to accommodate people's non-work priorities, apparently we missed the extent of the frustration with the fluid schedule."

To rectify this, management is meeting with each individual employee in order to better "understand their availability for scheduling, and preference for full time vs. part time employment, to see if we can better meet people's needs for scheduling and benefits."

As for the doll versions of each employee that Lanesplitter displays on its walls -- looks like they won't be walking out anytime soon.

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About The Author

Kate Conger

Kate Conger has written for SF Weekly since 2011.


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