By Nélida Tello
JuiceLand workers are entering their second week on strike and continue to call for a boycott as the company refuses to meet all their demands. JuiceLand ownership has demonstrated that it is committed to break the strike by hiring replacements, also referred to as scabs, and removing workers from schedules.
Workers reported, on their twitter account, that JuiceLand’s human resources (HR) department have ignored their demands and have no intention of listening to their grievances after meeting with them last week.
Following the meeting, workers were informed that they had to sign a form in order to return to work. The form states that workers agree to return to work unconditionally, meaning grievances and demands cannot be brought up upon returning. Workers were also informed that they would be placed on a hiring waitlist and that previous positions would not be guaranteed.
In Austin, striking workers and supporters picketed outside of a JuiceLand store on Barton Springs street. Workers chanted “What’s in the juice? It’s abuse,” and held signs reading, “Boycott Juiceland!”
A regional manager representing JuiceLand ownership who was observing the rally told Tribune that the strike was happening due to a so-called “misunderstanding” between the two parties. The workers’ demands are clear; decent wages, an end to sexual harassment and racism in the workplace, and the right to recall management. Workers have also reported across their social media platforms that JuiceLand has cancelled planned meetings with workers and have highlighted the company’s disregard for their demands when they do meet.
Up until now JuiceLand has ignored workers’ demand to recall managers by vote. The company currently has a system in place to review managers’ performance, however they are rarely fired despite being placed on multiple probationary periods.
In a press release shared with Tribune, The JuiceLand Strikers Media Team stated, “The higher ups have continuously refused to take accountability for their part in upholding a racist and sexist structure that ultimately aids in company-wide oppression. We will not tolerate the exploitation of the voices who have carried the business on their backs for so long.”
After the strike forced five stores to close last week, JuiceLand released a statement stating wages would increase to $15 an hour pay, which would still partly be made up of customer tips, for store workers and $17 for production workers. The statement was released without speaking to the striking workers and was announced in hopes to end the strike, but the strike only expanded, eventually closing at least eight stores.
“Lastly, remember we are fighting for a $15 starting BASE not a $15 total guarantee.” Workers wrote on their Instagram account, @juicelandworkersrights.
The strike is ongoing and the workers who bravely organize themselves and made hard sacrifices have shown they are committed to their just fight for improving their work conditions. Tribune of the People stands in solidarity with the workers and encourages our readers to continue donating to the workers’ strike fund.
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