UPDATE: Good Jobs Seattle announced a picket of the Hernandez's former employer, the Subway located at 206 Broadway E on Capitol Hill, from running 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, which will be followed by "rolling picketlines" of other Subway's in Seattle throughout the week. So, you know, show your support and avoid eating at Subway a little harder than usual this week.
At 9:30 a.m. this morning in front of the Federal Building downtown, organizers with Good Jobs Seattle are announcing the filing of federal charges against both the national Subway chain and a major Seattle Subway franchisee alleging illegal retaliation against former Subway employee Carlos Hernandez for helping organize and lead fast food strikes throughout the city this summer.
In early September, Hernandez was fired from a Subway franchise on Capitol Hill, ostensibly because he gave away a 66-cent cookie to a three year old. However, he and other fast food strike organizers believe the free cookie was a flimsy excuse for retaliation—they say Subway management was aware and unhappy with Hernandez's involvement in both the May 30th and August 29th fast food strikes, which campaigned for a $15/hour minimum wage and the right to organize without retaliation. Good Job Seattle explains in a press release that prior to the firing, Subway management had attempted to make strikers sign a "final warning" disciplinary notice about striking—and instructed other employees to not speak to Hernandez.
"I know I was fired cause I stood up for what is right," Hernandez says. "I went on strike and Subway fired me." Hernandez appears to be the only fast food employee fired after participating in this summer's strikes.
In a show of solidarity, Hernandez will be joined in this morning's announcement by Seattle City Council members Nick Licata and Richard Conlin, along with Conlin's challenger, Kshama Sawant, and other local organizers and political leaders. It's Tuesday, so our newsroom is too busy typesetting this week's fish wrapper to attend the presser. But I've got calls in to Good Jobs Seattle and Subway for more information about the charges; I'll update when I know more.