ASOL keeps up it's perfect record with another victory!
A few weeks ago, ASOL received a phone call from “N.” - a part-time employee of Key Lime Pie Hair Salon. She expressed, over the voicemail, that she had heard of ASOL from a friend and really needed support:
DJ, the owner of Key Lime Pie (as well as Belly General Store, if you remember from an earlier fight we had) owed her about $250; the remainder of her last paycheck.
N. had been employed by DJ at Key Lime Pie for about a month doing odd tasks like sweeping and rearranging display items. She was asked by the owner to work there and that she would be paid $7.00/hr (less then minimum wage) because it was an easy job. Having no other option at the time, N. accepted the job and worked dutifully at it for several weeks.
After about a week-and-a-half, N. also began working at a nearby CVS for a few hours a week - they were paying her much better and were flexible with her schedule, allowing her to work only when she wasn’t busy working at the salon.
Shortly after this, DJ began complaining to N. that she thought N. was “picking CVS over Key Lime Pie” and that “hurt her feelings.” Predictably, N. relieved herself of the burdensome employment at the hair salon to work a more sustainable, fulfilling, and economical job at CVS. Unfortunately, Key Lime Pie would continue to be a problem for N.
Despite several calls to the owner, the manager, the head of payroll, and after visiting the store in-person several times, N. was not paid her final paycheck for many weeks after her employment ended at Key Lime Pie. In desperate need of funds, she called us.
A few of us met with N. the next day at a local coffee shop and discussed a strategy with her and she came prepared with a demand-letter! Urgent to act immediately, and willing to lead her own campaign (a necessary prerequisite for our involvement) - we decided we would roll up on DJ later that week, on November 2nd.
About 25 of us gathered at the corner of St. Charles and North Highland to review the issue and go through the plan one more time. We then began our march, excited and unified, into Key Lime Pie. The response couldn’t have been much better.
As soon as we walked in, the front-end clerk - recognizing us from a previous fight, where we targeted the hair-salon for it’s tertiary involvement in another instance of exploitation - insisted that we needed to leave and called the police! Rather than scare us off, this emboldened us. N. demanded to speak to the owner all the while and a few ASOLers spoke to a woman in line next to us about why exactly we were doing this.
After several minutes, N. realized the futility of continuing to talk to the front-end clerk, a sympathizer of the boss, and decided we should take this into our own hands; we began marching out of the product area, into the actual salon area where the patrons received hair cuts. Finding the owner here, N. demanded to speak to her immediately while other ASOLers shouted over the payroll manager that “the next time you think about getting your haircut here, remember that the owner doesn’t pay the hairdressers: tip really well!”
Reading the demand-letter, the owner began to crumble. Frantically, she handed N. a paycheck. Opening it, N. realized that the check was still $200 short and she let the owner know that we would be back at the end of the week for the rest.
That, however, was not necessary.
Although we did come up with an exciting plan of action, the boss wired $250 to N.’s account early in the morning!
Remembering the force we were able to put on her last time, it seems that DJ is starting to get the picture: workers won’t put up with mistreatment anymore!
The Atlanta Solidarity Network