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UPDATE: Austin's Via 313 employees still hoping for changes from management after weekend protests

Around 100 Via 313 workers and allies protested for sick pay and safer working conditions at the pizza chain's North Campus site Saturday. (Joshua Gamboa)

Via 313 employees still haven't heard back from management after around 100 protesters gathered at the Austin pizza chain's North Campus location on Saturday to protest for sick pay and better working conditions, even as dozens more flocked to several locations Sunday to continue protests.

Employees, who are requesting sick pay and omicron-safe precautions, came with blow horns and microphones at the storefront at noon Saturday but were met with no members of management, employee Joshua Gamboa said. Around 15-20 protestors returned to the North Campus site Sunday with flyers, while others stood outside the East 6th and Oak Hill locations in protest.

The protests come after Via 313 protestors were flooded with unexpected publicity from community members and politicians like City Council Member and Congressional hopeful Greg Casar chiming in to support the crew.

Gamboa said four employees were suspended mid-shift after delivering a petition requesting sick pay to Via 313 upper management earlier last week. The petition was signed by 46 employees and was reviewed by a member of upper management. But because workers sent a subsequent email containing the petition and company name to more higher-ups, Gamboa said the company sent back a cease and desist order based on copyright infringement.

"No one should be threatened with losing their job when they stand up for their coworkers," the protestors' flier reads.

In the flyer, Via 313 employees said they are requesting the company to:

  • Reinstate suspended workers with no repercussions
  • Provide paid sick leave for all workers
  • Host a company-wide room meeting so all workers can voice their concerns
Protestors have yet to hear from upper management, and Gamboa said the company may be waiting until the start of this week to contact their employees.

In a statement, Via 313 said the four employees were suspended "pending an internal investigation."

"We are aware of certain employee allegations and take their concerns seriously," Via 313 said. "No employees have been suspended or terminated for signing a petition that was submitted to the company. The employees who were suspended allegedly created a hostile work environment that made others feel unsafe."

The company also said it is reviewing its sick pay policy and other COVID rules.


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