Unpaid Workers Sue "Ole Ole"

North Side restaurant allegedly left employees underpaid or unpaid

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, Feb 5, 2010  |  Updated 6:42 AM CDT
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The Decade in Eating

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Ole Ole? No way, no way, employees say.

Four workers of the Andersonville restaurant Ole Ole filed a federal lawsuit against their employer Thursday, seeking more than $100,000 in back wages, proper tip distribution and compensation for overtime, according to a press release from  Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) of Chicago, as reported by Gapers Block.

"It blew us away at ROC we hear all kinds of crazy stories about servers tipping management, tipping the house," national policy director Jose Oliva told In These Times in December. "But not being paid at all, literally working for tips, is an extreme case of consumer-subsidized wages. And that's just the front of the house. In the back of house there are cuts and burns, other health and safety violations, all kinds of abuse, not necessarily illegal, but being called names, being treated like animals," he said.

Employees planned to protest outside the Clark Street business in late December, but just an hour before the scheduled event, restaurant owners agreed to negotiate with them.

But those negotiations never happened, according to True/Slant, so a protest was staged outside the restaurant on January 6.

Along with the lawsuit, another demonstration took place outside the restaurant Thursday night.

To those workers we say viva la ¡revolución!

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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