Nearly half of the front of the house staff at well regarded Washington Square sushi spot Fat Salmon are on strike. And this afternoon, more will join them in a work stoppage action to demand fair workplace conditions. Fat Salmon staffers claim owner Jack Woo has been skimming and withholding employees tips, according to Restaurant Opportunities Center Philadelphia (ROC) Lead Coordinator Fabricio Rodriguez. Much worse, when servers spoke up about missing wages, Woo allegedly berated them, and cut back their hours and shifts. Tip skimming was made illegal back in 2011, and threatening to cut workers hours is considered Retaliation For Concerted Activity, a violation of federal labor laws.
“I have been working as a server at Fat Salmon for two years and I have never received the entire amount of my tips,” one employee is quoted saying in a prepared statement from ROC. Whats more, he goes on to describe how staffers there are subject to periodic tests, and in order to recieve their full share of pooled tips, they must pass four of them. Another employee adds, “I passed them all and still didn’t receive my full wage.”
At 2:30, striking workers will meet near the restaurant to demand an end to all violations of their legal rights and implementation of fair workplace policies.
Those striking chose not to simply quit Fat Salmon, because they reportedly wanted to make it a better place to work. “We don’t want to ruin the business. We just want it to be a fair business,” another server is quoted saying in the statement.