Springfield’s Aviary Cafe workers walk out, asking for better wages
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Aviary Cafe, a french inspired Springfield staple restaurant, is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of some of its employees.
For many, Aviary Cafe is the brunch spot. But Sunday a handful of employees decided not to show up, including five members of the kitchen staff. This after they say they’ve continued to be left short-staffed, unsupported, and underpaid despite promises for better conditions from management.
“Aviary themselves, they always brag to me about how they doubled their sales in this past year from COVID,” Reme Jones, a server, who is unsure if she is still employed with the restaurant says. “That’s super impressive. Yet, barely in the back of the house saw any repercussions. No support during that time.”
Monday she joined around a dozen other employees in front of the restaurant holding signs in hand listing their demands including livable wages for kitchen staff, paid time off and benefits.
Within minutes of the gathering Famers Park property managers asked them to leave. So they took to the corner of Republic and Houston where cars honked at them.
Cook Mayra Loredo says she stuck with Aviary Cafe through the pandemic. It was a tough year for the restaurant industry.
“[I was working] about 12 to 15 hours days short-staffed in the back of the house,” she says.
Loredo says management told her they valued her. She says she is full-time, but doesn’t get benefits or paid time off.
“I was making $13.50 an hour,” Loredo adds. “I was promised twice a higher raise.”
Aviary says all full-time employees get both benefits and paid-time off.
Some say Saturday was the final straw. Loredo says they were short-staffed and promised help from management.
Sunday, seven Aviary employees decided not to show up for work. Those who called out say they received texts from management threatening to contact future employment. Others received texts about how they were appreciated offering them gift cards and donuts.
The Aviary cafe refused an interview but sent us this statement:
Aviary Cafe does not comment on specific employees, their history or their compensation packages. At this time Aviary can confirm that seven (7) employees self terminated Sunday, July 25 when they no called or no showed for their shifts, per company policy. Aviary by Lavender Falls management team and fellow staff members were unaware of any labor issues, disputes or concerns prior to July 25. Aviary by Lavender Falls offers health, vision, dental insurance and 401K, for all full time employees. All qualifying employees are offered PTO per company handbook. Our company follows all labor laws, minimum wage and guidelines per state regulation and mandate.
-Aviary by Lavender Falls
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