August 12, 2009

Anti-war day on the picket line with Local 99

Members of Workers United Local 99 are long-time supporters of NAWC, and always show up when we need them on the street. Now they need our help to save union jobs at the Pickwick Restaurant in Duluth.

The anti-war movement is invited to take a two-hour shift on the picket line on Saturday, August 15 from 6-8 pm, to show its solidarity with the union. Please join us! These are the busiest hours of the week for the restaurant and we want to make a splash. The Pickwick is located on Superior Street near the Fitger's shopping center. Please DO NOT bring banners - the union will provide them. Feel free to bring instruments, labor songs, and snacks to share.

Keep reading for a wrap-up of the labor dispute and boycott by Adam Ritscher.

Boycott the Pickwick Restaurant!

Following months of unsuccessful negotiations and numerous unfair labor practices, Workers United Local 99 is asking that the public boycott the Pickwick restaurant.

The Pickwick has been a union restaurant for 85 years, and for four generations has been owned and run by the Wisocki family. Many of the workers have been there for 20-30 years. But the current owner, Chris Wisocki, seems to determined on tearing up all of that history and busting the union.

Among the unjust acts Chris Wisocki has committed is the firing of two long serving workers (CJ Cannon and Sandy Reinholt) for carrying out their legal right to picket; demanded that the workers give up their health benefits, longevity pay and 401(k) plans; and started a union decertification plan. All of this while the restaurant claims its business is doing great. Even the former owners of the Pickwick, Tony and Steve Wisocki, are outraged by this, and have publicly come out in support of the workers!

If the Pickwick succeeds in busing the union, it will set a dangerous precedent for employers throughout the region to do the same. It’s crucial that we rally in support of these workers in their time of need! Local 99 has a plan of action, but they need our help to win. Currently the union is holding pickets in front of the Pickwick from 11:30am - 1pm Monday through Saturday, 5pm - 7pm Monday through Thursday, and 6pm to 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Please come by and join the pickets; we can use all of the bodies that we can get!

Local 99 is also asking for folks to call the Pickwick at (218) 727-8901 or send them an email at and tell them that you won’t be eating at the restaurant until they settle with the union.

Together, with a little solidarity, we can save these union jobs! Never forget - an injury to one is an injury to all!
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The article above was written by Adam Ritscher, borrowing heavily from information in the July 22, 2009 issue of Labor World newspaper. For more information about this important struggle, check out the front page article in the Labor World:

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