25 unionized employees of Carnegie Deli protested outside of its Midtown location demanding the right to rehire if Carnegie Deli opens at a new location. Carnegie Deli has failed to bargain in good faith over the closing of the restaurant. The Unions proposal to Carnegie Deli representatives was rejected outright with no reasonable response by the company.
Last September, Carnegie Deli announced its plan to shut down the restaurant in Times Square, NY and continue production operations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Nevada. This decision will affect over 25 unionized workers—members of UNITE HERE Local 100, non-unionized workers, and their families.
Workers urged the public to keep supporting their cause. “I’ve been working here for thirty years and I was planning to retire in just a couple more” said Rasmee Ruenanukool (Rosie) waitress at Carnegie Deli. “Reality has set in, I worked so hard, gave Carnegie Deli my life and now it seems like the rug has been pulled from underneath me. It hasn’t been easy throughout the years but I’ve kept focus and believed that through hard work and determination, it will get me far just like I remember my parents did back in my home country of Thailand. I came to the US in search of the American dream but now at 61 I have no job, no income and finding a job at my age has been really tough”
Twenty five çç have lost their jobs, many giving half their lives to the company. “It’s been an experience for the last 35 years and I’ve been working for Carnegie deli for half my life and now I feel terrible,” says Roberto Joaquin, who worked as a counterman at Carnegie Deli. “I planned on retiring in 2 years but I can’t now, I’m out of a job, no pension, no health insurance. I have lost my wages and seniority. I’m old now, 60 years old, it’s going to be so hard to find a job at my age.”
Carnegie Deli was one of New York’s most prominent restaurants, attracting celebrities and public figures like Hillary and Bill Clinton, Stephen Colbert, Steve Harvey, Larry King, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.