Nebraska Burger King workers quit en masse in viral sign in protest to poor working conditions at Havelock, Lincoln location. Former workers, Rachael Flores & Kylee Johnson speak out.
Employees at the Lincoln fast food franchise claimed the outlet had been understaffed for months, with employees saying they’d been forced to work in the kitchen with no air conditioning, as summer temperatures reached above 90-degrees.
Ex-general manager, Rachael Flores said staff quit en masse after she put in her two-weeks notice earlier this month, with eight other employees following suit according to KLKN.
‘They wanted to put up a sign to say, you know “Sorry, there’s really not going to be anyone here,'” Flores told the media outlet. ‘Just kind of a laugh at upper management.’
They joked on July 9 that they should put up a sign outside the store in the Havelock neighborhood telling customers the store wasn’t open because they all quit.
Former general manager insists poor working conditions driving workers away
The next morning, the employees followed through with their plans, she said.
‘I didn’t think anyone was going to notice it, because we just did one sign,’ she said, and then it went crazy on Facebook.
‘I got a call from my upper management, and they told me I needed to take it down.’
Flores told upper management that she could not take down the sign as she was already short-staffed, at which point they told her to leave – one day before her official last day.
Despite worker rebellion, Flores blames store working conditions for having driven staff away.
In one Facebook post, the former manager described having been hospitalized with dehydration from poor working conditions, ‘and my boss was upset when I first left the store because I had been late for an over-the-phone managers meeting.
‘Then when I told him what was going on he said I was making up excuses.’
Define brand values?
The former manager said since starting working at the fast food restaurant in August last year, ‘they have gone through so many district managers,’ and ‘no one has come to the store to help me out.’
She said she forced to run breakfast with just two people on staff, and three people for the lunch rush, and would often work up to 60 hours per week.
Responding to the store upheaval, a Burger King spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘The work experience described at this location is not in line with our brand values. Our franchisee is looking into this situation to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.’
Posted Flores on Facebook in another post: ‘We quit cause upper management was a joke and had no care for me or my employees.’
Her best friend, Kylee Johnson, also posting on Facebook, wrote she had started working at the franchise in January because she knew Flores needed help, and had planned on quitting as soon as more employees were hired.
‘When your GM puts in her two weeks, and then eight other employees including yourself put in their two weeks,’ she wrote with a laughing emoji.
Fast food workers not tolerating poor working conditions
‘I’m so f****** proud of my best friend for all her hard work and for being such an incredible manager,’ she wrote. ‘She put in her notice with no knowledge that we would follow suit.’
‘Anywho,’ she continued, ‘hopefully BK will learn how to treat their employees before they completely shut down.’
‘Oh and if you’re wondering, Havelock is probably gonna be closed until further notice.’
That post was shared more than 2,600 times, with at least 1,300 reactions as of Monday.
The store, come Monday was open for business, albeit the outlet was being operated by a reduced staff, with new hires quitting just days after they start.
The viral walk-out comes as workers throughout the country continue to turn down what they decry as low-paying jobs.
At the end of March, job vacancies reached a record high of over 8 million, a new high.
Responding to the job numbers, Sylvia Allegretto, a University of California at Berkeley labor economist said the United States isn’t facing a labor shortage but rather a ‘wage and benefits shortage.’
‘There’s simply no labor shortage when you’re talking about finding house cleaners for a hotel,’ she told the Los Angeles Times. ‘There is a shortage of workers who want to work at what you’re offering.’
The national unemployment rate in June was 5.9 percent, up from 5.8 percent in May, but those who have received unemployment benefits during the pandemic may have the ‘financial cushion’ to search for a better paying job rather than settle for a minimum-wage job, the LA Times reports.
Mexican chain Chipotle announced in May it would raise hourly wages to $15 by the end of June and would offer its employees referral bonuses for any new hire they recruit. It remained unclear if other fast food restaurants would follow suit…?