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Potemkin
01-03-2009, 01:44 PM
http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW_010209WAB_pizza_store_heat_turned_off_TP.315388 5b.html

Pizza employees ordered to work in the cold

06:00 PM PST on Friday, January 2, 2009

By JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

Video: Pizza shop owner cuts off store heat
Larger screen E-mail this clip

LACEY, Wash. – Employees of a pizza delivery shop say the owners has cut off the heat in the store. And they say if the workers don’t like it, they can leave.

Dan Baxter, who works at the Pizza Time in Lacey, says he expects to be fired for talking to KING 5 News about this.

“When it’s really, really cold, like when it’s 19 (degrees) outside, it will be 25 in the store,” said Baxter.

So what about using the ovens to heat the place?

“The ovens create a little bit of heat, but the exhaust fans pull it all out,” said Baxter.

Baxter says the employees were once allowed to keep the heat around 55 degrees, but one night, they forgot to shut the furnace off after work.

That was the end of the heat at the store.

“He said we have to deal with it. They are not going to do anything about it. They know it’s cold,” said Baxter.

The message left by the owner was put on a white board for all to see. Baxter even took a picture of it. It reads:

“If you don’t want to work here quit, otherwise shut up and do your job. The next person I hear complaining is off for two weeks. We don’t have heat!! You guys screwed up, not us. You want to blame someone, look in the mirror.”

Owner Luke Benjamin stands by his chilly stance.

“They know where they work. If they can’t deal with it then there are plenty of other jobs out there,” said Benjamin.

The temperature was 55 degrees when we went in on Friday, but we saw something else. There’s a space heater in the office where Benjamin’s wife – the real boss – runs her accounting business.

Then we get to the real truth of the matter.

“It doesn’t look good, but she’s my wife and my boss and she tells me what she’s going to do and I’m not going to argue with her,” said Benjamin.

Baxter will not apologize for his actions.

“I can’t apologize for something that I don’t think I’ve done wrong ,” said Baxter.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries says there is no law regarding the temperature of a room you have to work in, unless you’re working in extreme situations like cold storage or foundries.

rb.
01-03-2009, 03:06 PM
What an ass. Spend a couple bucks and get a programmable thermostat. Probably was the school bully as a kid.

ltow
01-03-2009, 04:08 PM
how do they keep the pipes from freezing?
I want to know that trick - then I can shut off the heat here at home and save lots of money too!

penguinzee
01-03-2009, 08:10 PM
how do they keep the pipes from freezing?
I want to know that trick - then I can shut off the heat here at home and save lots of money too!

Yep, penny-wise and pound foolish-burst pipes cost a lot more than the heating bill (not to mention the programmable thermostat).

Actually, methinks this guy might be in violation of OSHA (not that they really care about worker safety anymore). I mean, there is a point that you have to keep your workers working safely (like ice on the floor!)...

I can imagine walking in there as customer, seeing all the employees wearing parkas, and wondering if I'm paying for a frozen pizza...:laugh:

If I worked there, I'd have quit right away... I mean, COME ON!!!

Franc (penguinzee)

A.T. Hagan
01-03-2009, 08:22 PM
I have a feeling now that this story is getting around his local community his business is going to drop off.

.....Alan.

BirdGuano
01-03-2009, 09:17 PM
I'm thinking OSHA may give Luke Benjamin a very expensive clue-by-four shortly.

Despite what the state says.

:D

M Fox
01-04-2009, 01:12 AM
I have a feeling now that this story is getting around his local community his business is going to drop off.

.....Alan.

Not just the pizza business -
There’s a space heater in the office where Benjamin’s wife – the real boss – runs her accounting business.
I know I'd be looking for a new accountant.