To Our Customers, Friends and the Wesleyan Community:
Yesterday morning we heard rumors that a rally involving Bon Appetit student workers also included some of our student staff from both WesWings and Red & Black Café. And that they planned to march to one or both of our locations regarding unionizing.
At 12 noon, a group of 25-30 students arrived at Weswings reciting demands with an ultimatum to voluntarily recognize their union by Monday April 10th.
We literally had no idea what any of this meant. We had never been approached by any employee or been aware that anyone has had a problem working at WesWings or Red & Black. We felt completely blindsided. Within 9 hours organizers began spreading posts on social media encouraging a picketing event the next day along with a boycott of both locations.
We have attempted to reach out to our student staff to better understand their complaints and what any of this means. We have heard that some student staff were told the full time employees are for unionizing. This is a lie. Our non-student fulltime staff want nothing to do with unionizing and have requested a meeting with student staff to make their views known and to let them know how this may affect their livelihoods. We are planning multiple meetings to meet with our staff after the Passover and Easter Holidays
Recent posts have referred to us as “management” and to refrain from litigation. We have no legal department. We have no HR department. “Management” is Karen and Ed. We are the ones who order the food, lug cases of avocadoes, pay the bills, make your sandwich, cook the wings and call your name.
For over 32 years we have prided ourselves for not only providing excellent food but being an exemplary employer. We have always stood by our staff and provided for them during some of the most difficult times. We believe that the numerous employees who have been with us over 20 years and the overwhelming student applications we receive is a testament to our reputation as a caring and responsible employer.
When Covid shut down the country, before any public assistance was ever announced, we committed to paying our staff the remainder of the school year. We did not know if we would ever reopen but we wanted to help them despite the costs. When vaccines first became available, we went to incredible lengths to get all of our workers vaccinated weeks before they were publicly available or Wesleyan could provide them. We hosted a clinic to help all students and the custodial staff when no one else would.
We have been in business for over 32 years and have worked tirelessly to promote a positive, inclusive work environment. Most former employees will state Wes Wings and Red & Black was the best job they ever had. We are not anti-union; we want what is best for our employees and our company. We would like the opportunity to sit with our students and work together to solve their issues, like we have been doing since 1991.
-Karen & Ed