Subway bosses go and hang-Justice for Jackie Lang!Saturday, May 12 2007
The 155 Queen St Branch of Subway in Auckland was blockaded for two hours in a joint direct action organised by Radical Youth and Workers Charter. The blockade demanded justice for sacked Subway worker Jackie Lang, who was fired by the Dunedin branch for sharing her free Coke with a distressed friend. Reps from the NDU, SFWU, Unite and Solidarity unions were in attendance, in a high spirited protest that drove most of the store's custom away for its duration.
"Workers in New Zealand are sick of bullying, intimidation and unfair dismissals and sackings." said Solidarity Union activist and protest organiser Joe Carolan
"Jackie Lang's case is the straw that broke the camel's back. This Saturday, Workers Charter call on all decent people and trade unionists to come stand up for Jackie's rights. Drop the charges, and compensate Jackie for the emotional distress you have caused her, Subway. Otherwise, pickets on all your stores in Auckland will spread and grow. Have some respect for your workers!"
Editor of the Workers Charter paper and organiser for the Unite Workers Union, John Minto, added-
“When a worker is sacked for sharing her coke with a friend on her break then this is bullying and harassment. It’s disappointing but not surprising to see the police on the side of the company pursuing a worker for a $4 theft which was not a theft. This is a case of bullying and harassment by the company and Subway should be in court instead of the worker”
Supporters of the protest also included Auckland anti capitalist group Radical Youth.
"Radical Youth is shocked by this example of a multinational corporation bullying a poor worker for no reason" said RY spokesperson Eliana Darroch
. “Subway's continued use of youth rates and its treatment of Jackie Lang clearly shows it is a company that holds its workers in contempt" added Ms Darroch. "Radical Youth will not stand for this bullying and will carry out actions against Subway if this case is not dropped."
Organisers have vowed that lightning blockades will occur at other Subway franchisees until Jackie is reinstated or compensated, with a full apology from the Subway Corporation, who have tried to wash their hands of the affair so far. They also leafletted and talked to Subway workers about their right to organise in a union.