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Via 313 staffers file to unionize

The employees' efforts add to a growing list of Austin-area food workers who are working to form unions.

AUSTIN, Texas — Employees at Austin pizzeria Via 313 have filed to unionize, according to records posted with the National Labor Relations Board.

Eater Austin reported that the union efforts were filed on behalf of 75% of the chain's employees. Via 313 currently has multiple locations in the Austin area, as well as locations in San Antonio and Salt Lake City.

Staff members have been organizing for over a year. In January 2022, employees protested over paid sick time and more transparency amid the omicron COVID-19 surge.

At the time, Via 313 told KVUE it was taking employee concerns seriously and had senior staff members on site to help address pandemic-related concerns. Via 313 also said it was working to review safety protocols and its paid sick leave policy.

Eater Austin reported that in January, employees hand-delivered a petition to Savory, a restaurant-focused investment company partnered with Via 313. They later received a cease-and-desist letter from company. 

Via 313 also confirmed it suspended a number of employees for "creating a hostile" work environment. According to the report, Savory offered to reinstate three of the four suspended workers with back pay while the fourth had already quit.

Now that union organizers have filed with Restaurant Workers United, Eater Austin reports that employees of the three physical locations will need to cast votes. If supporters win the election, Savory and Via 313 must then choose to recognize the union. The two groups would then negotiate on a contract.

Via 313 employees are not the first food workers in the area to launch union efforts. Starbucks, Alamo Drafthouse and Tiff's Treats workers have also joined in on the trend.

Read Eater Austin's full report here.

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