NNJ, CNJ, and NYC-DSA Stand in Solidarity with Illegally Terminated Jollibee Workers
For Immediate Release: July 22nd 2023
The North New Jersey, Central New Jersey, and New York City Chapters of the Democratic Socialists of America stand in solidarity with former Journal Square Jollibee workers who filed a formal complaint to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after being illegally terminated earlier in 2023. We unequivocally support their demands for reinstatement, back pay, and an apology.
A group of nine workers at Jollibee, a popular Filipino fast food restaurant, were harassed, surveilled, and then terminated after management at the Journal Square store learned they were organizing for fairer working conditions. These workers had organized around a $3 wage increase, holiday pay, and improved working conditions, gaining the support and documented signatures of over 90% of the workers at their location in just a couple of weeks. After filing with the NLRB, the group launched the #Justice4JollibeeWorkers Campaign where they attempted to deliver their written demands to management on National Fried Chicken Day. This is one of the busiest and most demanding days of the year for fast food workers, who experience increasingly dangerous conditions and maltreatment from management during the rush.
As an internationally ubiquitous fast food chain set to open 500 stores in North America in the next five to seven years; Jollibee Food Corporation is valued at over $5B and made $3.2B worldwide in 2022. The workers who make this growth possible haven’t benefited from it. Management uses several tactics to keep their pockets lined, including wage theft, mistreatment, surveillance, chronic understaffing, and intentional misclassification and casualization of workers to deprive them of full-time benefits and pay. The #Justice4JollibeeWorkers campaign demands, at minimum, that Jollibee uphold its workers’ rights to organize at all stores, reinstate fired workers with back pay, and apologize publicly for their retaliation. They have received widespread community support from organized workers in New Jersey, including Pilipinos Organizing for Worker Empowerment and Rights (POWER).
As socialists, we believe that every worker has the right to organize, and that Jollibee’s behavior is unacceptable. We condemn the multinational company’s mistreatment and intimidation of their workforce, disproportionately made up of people of color and members of the Filipino labor diaspora. We applaud the former Journal Square workers for organizing to build power and have their voice heard on the job. The North and Central New Jersey as well as New York City DSA Chapters cover all NJ and NY Jollibee shops in our states’ most populated areas. We support the #Justice4JollibeeWorkers demands and will stand with Jollibee workers as they fight, and until they win.