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Update From the Pizza Time Lockout

From mediaisland.org - March 26, 2005.

Olympia Pizza Time franchise owner Richard Kelley locked out all nine striking workers by closing the store on Feb 21st. The last negotiations between Pizza time workers and Kelley broke down when Kelley insisted he would open the store if workers accepted wages below state law. Pizza time workers refused Kelley.s unreasonable condition.

Pizza Time workers took their case to the National Labor Relations Board. A federal investigator interviewed the workers and Kelley. The investigator informed the workers that federal labor law offers no protection from owners who close their own stores. Pizza Time workers are in need of a labor lawyer.

On March 8th Pizza Time workers joined in solidarity with the Global Women.s Strike. The Global Women.s Strike is a day to recognize the value in work women do, most of which is not paid or is underpaid, and for women around the world to realize the power and autonomy they have when they stand together. Pizza time workers made pizzas and helped feed local women on strike for the day.

Pizza Time workers are joining up with Endicott Farms to help make a mobile pizza oven. Once the oven is completed pizza workers will be making pizza again and raising funds to start a worker-run pizza co-op. Pizza Time workers are also working with the Olympia Food Co-op to learn what it takes to start and operate a co-op.

Pizza Time workers wanted to create the first Olympia Worker.s Association union workplace. Although Richard Kelley refused to voluntarily recognize the Olympia Worker.s Association, the idea of a local independent union has taken root with other workers in the community. Pizza Time workers realize there are many workers in Olympia who want to improve their work conditions.

Pizza Time workers have no regrets about the strike. The ties workers created between themselves and the Olympia community are strong. Many Pizza Time workers feel the strike is one of the most meaningful experiences of their lives and thank everyone who has shown support.