Fourteen former Chicago Snarf’s Sub Shop workers who were abruptly fired via email just days before Christmas from the River North location have reached a settlement with the Denver-based sandwich chain.
The fired employees, who were given pink slips on December 22, received a month’s worth of back pay on Monday and have been guaranteed that they can have their jobs back once the River North restaurant reopens after a remodel. It is not known, however, how many of the 14 Snarf’s employees will actually go back to work at the River North restaurant once it reopens.
The sandwich shop, located at 600 W. Chicago Ave., is being converted into one of Snarf’s burger-concept chains, and it could reopen as early as mid-February, the former workers said. Snarf’s officials say the change in the restaurant’s model is in response to “increased competition and losses.”
The recent settlement follows multiple protests that the discharged Snarf’s workers and their supporters, including the Worker’s Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), have held against the “unjust” firings.
“Our goal was to send a strong message that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of treatment,” said Kevin Brown, 25, one of the fired River North sandwich makers. “We know that we were fired in an unjust manner, and we want to make sure that we get justice out of the situation, and we think we did through the settlement.”