AUSTIN, Texas — Alamo Drafthouse workers at the South Lamar Boulevard location said management and corporate are union-busting while not recognizing the Alamo Drafthouse United union.
They planned a sick-out because they're sick of low pay.
"It's not like an actual strike, but it's a day where a bunch of workers decide all at once to call in sick," said an employee who wanted to stay anonymous.
That's what some South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse employees did Tuesday, after they said their union's formal request for a $4 to $5 raise for employees went unanswered.
"There was a meeting after the 30th, like on the first or the second of July, where they made vague promises about how change was coming, how they was going to restructure pay," said that employee. "It's just on the way, and we didn't deem that satisfactory."
The union organizer said he's afraid to share his name because of what happened after the rally.
"I was illegally fired," said former server Simon Ingrand.
Ingrand said he was fired the day after rallying on his day off. He said managers accused him of using the company's contact list to message employees about the event.
"I did not use their database," said Ingrand.
Ingrand said he personally asked people for their number and got the rest from a trusted friend, which he said he can prove. He said he was written up for the message a few days before the protest, but the day after the rally he was fired, even though that was his first writeup.
Ingrand said management is trying to break up the union, which is illegal. He also said they will not negotiate with the union.
Because the union isn't certified, Texas A&M University law professor Michael Z. Green said, "They have no legal obligation to to deal with them." Even if they were certified, Green said employers don't have to agree to a contract.
"The employer has a duty to bargain," said Green. "Now, the duty to bargain means that you have to act in good faith. There is no requirement that you have to actually reach an agreement."
The union hasn't decided if it will seek certification, but workers created an online petition to get Ingrand's job back.
"It will show management that they just can't fire someone for unionizing," said Ingrand.
Until then, he said, he's weighing legal options and the union isn't against catching another sick-out bug to get its demands met.
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