Solidarity Network’s Victory: Former Casa Della Pasta Worker Got His Pay
A struggle for the rights of two former workers of Casa Della Pasta, that lasted for several months, has finally arrived to a victorious end. One of the workers, Ahmed, got his pay for the last month. We are glad that the victory was achieved by solidarity against and public pressure on bosses. A short summary of the story below:Two workers from the Casa Della Pasta Italian restaurant were fired after the employer found out that they are trying to establish a union and demand their rights. The workers were trying to achieve contracts to non-Lithuanian citizens (two workers from Pakistan and India), equal pays for equal work (the immigrants were paid 50 cent per hour less than Lithuanian citizens), better working conditions, proper scheduling, and respect of workers’ dignity.
The employer learned about the plans before the union was established. Two workers were fired. Before firing one of them, a buff “random passer-by” stopped him after work in a dark corner on the street and warned him “not to stir the water”. The other worker was fired without his last month’s pay.
After this, ex-workers started cooperating with the SolNet. On January 13, around 20 people went into the restaurant to deliver the demands: pay up, reinstate the fired workers and improve the conditions. The bosses were threatened with public pressure if demands had not been met.
The employers did not react to the demands, so the story was publicised and went viral on social media. After more time of no response, pickets were arranged. The bosses tried to stop the pickets by calling the police and asking for names of the participants, but the police had no legal right to take them.
In the meanwhile, the restaurant published their own version of the event in the media. According to the boss, the protests were either paid for by the competitors from other Italian restaurants, or were simple revenge by one begrudged ex-worker, or advertising the SolNet. According to Fabio Manconi, the owner: “We have had another restaurant in the old town for several years now, and no such stories have happened. But right after we opened another spot on Laisvės alley [main pedestrian street of Kaunas], attacks started, attacks against our success and our pizzas. Someone does not like us here. I can only speculate who these people are, but there are many Italian restaurants in Kaunas that have been here for longer than us.” He publicly denied knowing Ahmed or having had him work at the restaurant.
However, after the second picket, in which Fabio also participated as a special guest, once again, say that he knows no Ahmed, one of the managers of the restaurant contacted Ahmed and proposed to “solve this unpleasant situation”. It is quite interesting how he had the contacts of Ahmed without knowing him… However, the negotiations continued for a month and, on April 8, the worker got his pay.This is the end of a 4-month long story. Or is it? In his letter to the media, Fabio promised to sue SolNet and claimed that Ahmed was threatening other workers’ safety… However, we hope that this story will inspire more people to take up fighting for their rights and refuse to stand aside when others are exploited. A harm to one is a harm to all!