Monday, January 26, 2009

[olympiaworkers] Lacey Pizza Time employees ordered to work in the cold

Lacey Pizza Time employees ordered to work in the cold

Monday, January 5, 2009


Video: Pizza shop owner cuts off store heat
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LACEY, Wash. – Employees of a pizza delivery shop say the owners have cut
off the heat in the store. And they say if the workers don't like it, they
can leave.

Dan Baxter, who works at the Pizza Time in Lacey, says he was suspended
for two weeks after talking to KING 5 about this. He expects to be fired
and is looking for other employment.

"When it's really, really cold, like when it's 19 (degrees) outside, it
will be 25 in the store," said Baxter.

So what about using the ovens to heat the place?
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"The ovens create a little bit of heat, but the exhaust fans pull it all
out," said Baxter.

Baxter says the employees were once allowed to keep the heat around 55
degrees, but one night, they forgot to shut the furnace off after work.

That was the end of the heat at the store.

"He said we have to deal with it. They are not going to do anything about
it. They know it's cold," said Baxter.

The message left by the owner was put on a white board for all to see.
Baxter even took a picture of it. It reads:

"If you don't want to work here quit, otherwise shut up and do your job.
The next person I hear complaining is off for two weeks. We don't have
heat!! You guys screwed up, not us. You want to blame someone, look in the

Owner Luke Benjamin stands by his chilly stance.

"They know where they work. If they can't deal with it then there are
plenty of other jobs out there," said Benjamin.

The temperature was 55 degrees when we went in on Friday, but we saw
something else. There's a space heater in the office where Benjamin's wife
– the real boss – runs her accounting business.

Then we get to the real truth of the matter.

"It doesn't look good, but she's my wife and my boss and she tells me what
she's going to do and I'm not going to argue with her," said Benjamin.

Baxter will not apologize for his actions.

"I can't apologize for something that I don't think I've done wrong ,"
said Baxter.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries says there is no
law regarding the temperature of a room you have to work in, unless you're
working in extreme situations like cold storage or foundries.

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