A Nebraska Burger King has gone viral on social media, after the staff put up a sign reading: ‘We all quit. Sorry for the inconvenience.’
Employees at the Lincoln franchise claimed it had been understaffed for months, while they have had to work in a kitchen with no air conditioning, even as temperatures reached above 90-degrees.
Now ex-general manager Rachael Flores said employees decided to pull the stunt after she put in her two-weeks notice earlier this month, and eight other employees followed suit, she told KLKN.
‘They wanted to put up a sign to say, you know “Sorry, there’s really not going to be anyone here,'” Flores recounted. ‘Just kind of a laugh at upper management.’
They joked on July 9 that they should put up a sign outside the store in the Havelock neighborhood telling customers the store wasn’t open because they all quit.
The next morning, the employees followed through with their plans, she said.
‘I didn’t think anyone was going to notice it, because we just did one sign,’ she said, and then it went crazy on Facebook.
‘I got a call from my upper management, and they told me I needed to take it down.’
A photo of a Burger King has gone viral after its employees put up a sign saying: ‘We all quit. Sorry for the inconvenience’
Now ex-general manager Rachael Flores (left) her best friend, Kylee Johnson (right) said employees decided to pull the stunt after Flores put in her two-weeks notice earlier this month
In response, though, Flores said she told the upper management that she could not take down the sign as she was already short-staffed, at which point they told her to leave – one day before her official last day.
Flores says the working conditions have driven the staff away.
She claims at one point she was hospitalized with dehydration from the poor working conditions, ‘and my boss was upset when I first left the store because I had been late for an over-the-phone managers meeting.
‘Then when I told him what was going on he said I was making up excuses.’
But, she said, since she started working at the fast food restaurant in August, ‘they have gone through so many district managers,’ and ‘no one has come to the store to help me out.’
She said she forced to run breakfast with just two people on staff, and three people for the lunch rush, and would often work up to 60 hours per week.
A Burger King spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘The work experience described at this location is not in line with our brand values. Our franchisee is looking into this situation to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.’
Employees at the Lincoln, Nebraska franchise (pictured) said the restaurant had been severely understaffed and they were forced to work up to 60 hours per week in 90-degree temperatures without air conditioning
Flores posted ‘one of the original photos’ to Facebook, writing: ‘We quit cause upper management was a joke and had no care for me or my employees.’
Her best friend, Kylee Johnson, who said she had started working at the franchise in January because she knew Flores needed help, and was planning on quitting as soon as more employees were hired, also took to Facebook to write about the experience.
‘When your GM puts in her two weeks, and then eight other employees including yourself put in their two weeks,’ she wrote with a laughing emoji.
‘I’m so f****** proud of my best friend for all her hard work and for being such an incredible manager,’ she wrote. ‘She put in her notice with no knowledge that we would follow suit.’
‘Anywho,’ she continued, ‘hopefully BK will learn how to treat their employees before they completely shut down.’
‘Oh and if you’re wondering, Havelock is probably gonna be closed until further notice.’
Rachael Flores, the former general manager of the restaurant, posted a photo of the sign
Her best friend, Kylee Johnson, who started working at the franchise in January to help Flores out, also took to Facebook to post about the sign they had put up. Her post was shared more than 2,600 times, garnering at least 1,300 reactions
Johnson and Flores spoke about their experiences at the restaurant in an interview
That post was shared more than 2,600 times, with at least 1,300 reactions as of Monday.
The store, however, is still open they told KLKN, but continues to be operated by a reduced staff, with new hires quitting just days after they start.
The viral walk-out comes as workers throughout the country refuse to take low-paying jobs.
At the end of March, job vacancies reached a record high of over 8 million, but Sylvia Allegretto, a University of California at Berkeley labor economist said the United States isn’t facing a labor shortage. It is instead facing a ‘wage and benefits shortage.’
‘There’s simply no labor shortage when you’re talking about finding house cleaners for a hotel,’ she told the Los Angeles Times. ‘There is a shortage of workers who want to work at what you’re offering.’
The national unemployment rate in June was 5.9 percent, up from 5.8 percent in May, but those who have received unemployment benefits during the pandemic may have the ‘financial cushion’ to search for a better paying job rather than settle for a minimum-wage job, the LA Times reports.
As a result, fast food Mexican chain Chipotle announced in May it would raise hourly wages to $15 by the end of June and would offer its employees referral bonuses for any new hire they recruit.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal record highs for job vacancies at more than 8million on the last day of March as businesses struggle to recruit staff
The viral post comes as low-wage employers struggle to find employees
Experts say there is not a shortage of available workers, but people are more comfortable finding a higher-wage job following the pandemic. In May, activists participated in a ‘Wage Strike’ outside a restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Soon after, McDonalds said it would raise its hourly wages an average of 10 percent, and Southwest Airlines, Walmart and Costco pledged to lift their minimum wages to at least $15.
The unemployment benefits pay more than most minimum-wage jobs, and are due to continue until September as part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package approved in March.
‘While unemployment benefits were helpful during the pandemic to keep laid off workers afloat, the fact that many are now making more money sitting on the couch than being back at work is creating an unbelievable labor shortage for small businesses,’ said Job Creators Network president Alfredo Ortiz.
‘The Democrats should realize times have changed and reduce unemployment benefits accordingly.’
The combined benefits can total as much as $600 a week in some states.
It is not just conservative critics who see that as a problem. A recent Bank of America analyst note said the cash meant anyone earning less than $32,000 before the pandemic would be better off taking the benefits instead of working.
Biden, however, has defended his strategy and said anyone turning down a ‘suitable’ job would lose their benefits.
‘The line has been because of the generous unemployment benefits, that it’s a major factor in labor shortages,’ he said in response to criticism.
‘Americans want to work. Americans want to work.’
At least six governors disagree. The Republican governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Dakota, and Montana have signaled they will end the extra benefit early.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is the latest to follow suit.
‘Our unemployment rate is at 3.7%, vaccines are available to anyone who wants one, and we have more jobs available than unemployed people,’ she said on Tuesday.
‘Regular unemployment benefits will remain available, as they did before the pandemic, but it’s time for everyone who can to get back to work.’