Service area workers plan to unionize

Connecticut

DARIEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Just a few days before one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, food service workers at the highway service plaza in Darien held a rally. Elected officials and union members stood in front of the rest area demanding higher wages and more benefits for service plaza workers.

U.S. Congressman Jim Himes said, “We are here to say we support you. I happen to live right near by and I’m in here all the time. I see the hard work, serving the coffee, working in the kitchen, all hours rain or snow in storms. The people who work here who serve us so well good wages and good conditions and 32BJ is going to make that happen.”

A worker named Rosa said, “The work is hard and I need more money.”

She has been working at a fast food chain at a service area for over 12 years and wants to be the voice for employees who are afraid to speak out.

Rosa said, “I need more salary, more benefits, good vacation.”

Workers wore shirts that said ‘serving up justice’. They want to join union, 32BJ. Service workers said by joining a union they will have more job stability. Workers said employers are failing to provide benefits required by state law.

Union Vice President for 32BJ SEIU, Juan Hernandez, said employees who are not getting all of their benefits need to be compensated with pay.

Hernandez said, “The only way out of misery is to form a union because right now the standard wage applies and they are not paying the standard wage.”

News 8 reached out to several fast food franchises for comment. A spokesperson for Dunkin’ released a statement saying,

All Dunkin’ restaurants are individually owned and operated by independent franchisees, who are solely responsible for making all business decisions regarding their employees, including but not limited to wages. The terms of their franchise agreements require compliance with all applicable laws. Additionally, Dunkin’ and its independent franchisees recognize the rights under the law of individuals to choose whether or not to join labor organizations.

Dunkin’ Brands

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