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Paul Ryan washes dishes at a Youngstown, Ohio soup kitchen. According to news reports, the dishes were already clean.
No, not this kitchen nightmare...
There are very few TV shows that I watch on a regular basis. My one guilty pleasure is Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey (please, don't judge). Normally, the show starts with a restaurant in disarray and ends with a restaurant that is on its way to becoming successful (whether or not the restaurant has long term success is something I do not know). On this season's last episode Gordon Ramsey visited Amy's Baking Company where we met Samy and Amy, the owners.

Now, I could say something snarky about the owners of this establishment; however, I will let them speak for themselves. If you have not already seen this episode you can watch it here. Go ahead, I will wait for you.

Okay, now that you have seen the episode how do you feel about the owners? People who steal their employees tips', argue with their customers, and fire a server for asking a question.

Of course, I am most concerned with the way this couple treats their employees. If anyone ever says that unions have outlived their usefulness I will just show them this episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Could you imagine working for a couple like this?

The bad publicity that followed the airing of this particular episode has understandably caused a lot of fallout for the owners of this establishment. I will spare you the ugly details and go straight to Tuesday, July 2nd, when Radar Online released a copy of Amy's Baking Company's contract that all new employees have to sign.

I have never heard of a server having to sign a contract like this. All tips go to the house, and it has a non-compete clause—for waitstaff. Then there is this, a $250 penalty for not working on a weekend or holiday, which is equivalent to over 30 hours of work at $8 an hour. How can that be legal?

Employers like this are exactly the reason why unions are needed. These people are not the only ones pulling this kind of crap on their employees—they just happened to get caught on camera while doing it. Across America there are employers treating their employees just as bad or even worse and unions can give those workers a voice and stop this kind of crap. Every worker, regardless of occupation, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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