THE RESTAURANT WORKERS UNITED (RWU)
What do I know about the union, the Restaurant Workers United?
How does the RWU perform as a business?
With tens of thousands of unions nationally, Via 313 Austin employees have chosen to attempt to create their own independent union, the Restaurant Workers United. For the involved employees, they now must ask themselves, Who is this union? What is the RWU track record? Who is in charge at the RWU and making decisions for the union? How many previous petitions and elections have the RWU been involved with? What is the RWU success rate to win representation through a NLRB election? How many contracts has the RWU reached with employers? Has the RWU gone on strike? These questions, and countless more, must be considered before employees pursue this matter further.
The RWU explains their union this way, "We are the union run by and for restaurant, bar, and cafe workers in America."
A quick search through the OLMS website resulted in 2 former unions identified as "Restaurant Workers" (both independent unions). CLICK HERE to see the results for yourself. The first, Restaurant Workers United 717 represents 3 employees in Harrisburg, PA. The other, Restaurant Workers Union 318, represent 31 employees in New York NY. Neither is affiliated with the newly found Restaurant Workers United attempting to intervene with Via 313 employees.
The Restaurant Workers United named in the 3 NLRB petitions involving Via 313 is a newly created entity. The RWU has no known recorded experience involving any previous NLRB activity:
NO previous experience with NLRB petition activity.
NO previous experience with NLRB election activity.
NO previous experience with NLRB collective bargaining (negotiations)
NO previous experience in arguing for/against NLRB Unfair Labor Practice Charges.
NO previous experience involving FMCS Work Stoppages.
With no previous experience, who is advising the RWU in their campaign? RWU Organizers, and current Via 313 employees, publicly shared that the campaign against Via 313 was "more than a year in a half" in the making. Supported by the Austin Democratic Socialist of America and the Communist Caucus, the Restaurant Organizing Project (ROP) started in 2020 "to unionize restaurant workers during the pandemic and beyond." Take a look at the Austin DSA's calendar of events where they host training sessions (Sept 19) to train union Salts; "to cover what it means to salt [infiltrate] a workplace, basics on labor organizing, and opportunities for salting to organize non-union shops". At least 2 of the current Austin Via 313 employees were trained "more than a year ago" to salt companies like Via 313. Watch the Video for yourself (dated Sept 8), an interview by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United Instagram, Salting is a labor union strategy in which a union-backed person applies for a job in a particular company to start union organizing. The person is often financially motivated to gather information as a company insider fostering dissension between the Company and its employees. To learn more about union Salts, check this out from the Society of Human Resource Managers.
Who is Benjamin Reynolds? A "Benjamin Reynolds" is the named representative, or agent, for the RWU as named on the NLRB petitions involving Via 313 in Austin. A search of the NLRB archive resulted in NO previous record(s) filed with the NLRB by anyone named "Benjamin Reynolds".
However, searching the OLMS databank for any/all union employees or officers named "Benjamin Reynolds", a single record was found. Mr. Reynolds is listed as a Organizer Apprentice for the United Needle, Industrial, Textile, Restaurant and Hotel Employees (UNITEHERE) Local 27 in New York, NY. Mr. Reynolds was only paid by the union in 2021 (a single year) earning less than $11,000 from his efforts as a union organizer.