We recently received word of atrocious working and food preparation conditions from a worker at the Capitol Market Cafe in Richmond, VA. Below is a quick detailing of the circumstances along with pictures (all taken 12/24-12/26/19) from a now-former employee of the Cafe. The images speak for themselves, but the addition of wage theft and other abuses by the owner of this establishment are simply inexcusable!

This revelation is the first of many to come regarding the conditions and treatment of workers commonly found across the restaurant industry in Richmond. Does this speak to your experience as a worker in the RVA restaurant industry? We would love to hear from you.

If you are interested in improving the conditions at your place of work or just want to tell your story please send an email to
RichmondIWW@Gmail.com!

The never-cleaned meat and cheese slicer.

“I worked here for three days. Needless to say, I’m now looking for a job.

When I met with the manager to see the store and whatnot, I was told that the business doesn’t have a license from the health department to serve food to the public. (It’s true. I called both the health department and the department of agriculture and neither of them have licensing on file for the business.) During showing me the store, we came across a filthy slicer. I showed her how to take it apart to clean it.

No one had ever taken it apart to clean it….

I found unlabeled and undated everything, cheese and condiments that had well expired still being served, open bags of bacon and chicken just chilling in the fridge, and ohmygod a really gross chocolate syrup situation. (The syrup was the only bottle of syrup the store had used since opening, so if you got a hot chocolate or a mocha you got some mold too.)

The moldy chocolate pump.

The owner (Mohammed “Mike” Munir)wouldn’t give me clear information about when/how often I’d get paid, ignored my requests for the proper protective equipment for handling hot pans from the oven (an oven mitt dude, an oven mitt), and when I finally did get paid a week after I quit I was shorted pay, was not given a w-4 beforehand, and was not given a pay stub.

Since writing this I found out that not giving pay stubs, not paying overtime, not providing tax information are Mike’s standard practices. One person has lost thousands of dollars in overtime pay.

I’ve asked for the pay stub and informed him that I’d be going to the labor department.

I’ve also contacted the health department and the department of agriculture to file food safety complaints, and a complaint was also filed with OSHA for unsafe working conditions and failure to display the federal rights posters.

I don’t want anyone getting sick from this place. I waited until now to write this because I wanted to get my money from him. I was worried that if I went public while he still hasn’t paid me, he just wouldn’t. I’m sorry to anyone who’s gotten food or beverages in the week in-between from this spot.”

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