Emerald City Pizza Hut Sucks, Seattle, Columbia Basin Pizza, Las Vegas Pizza, Seattle (Mukilteo) Washington, Chad M. Cloke, Terry Hopkins, Mike Beecher
I've had only a handful of interactions with Unions in my life. All were negative. Some bordered on violence. Some were violent.
As a kid I worked for a corporation called "GEM". It was an early K-Mart kind of place. Don't know what ever happened to them -- don't care. The boss once asked me to work on my day off. I had made plans for my day off that couldn't be changed. The boss insisted; I resisted. Finally I asked if the union could help me (I'd paid plenty in "dues"). I was told that "the union" couldn't be bothered with things like that. I quit and got a better job, which allowed me to make, and keep, plans on my days off.
Decades later I owned a tugboat company. One day a man approached me on the deck and asked if I was interested in joining a union in a nearby city. It was the farthest thing from my mind and I politely declined. The man, standing on the towing deck of one of my own vessels, then stepped closer and told me clearly that he could see that my crews didn't sleep aboard the tugs, and that something could easily "happen" to the boats unless I joined the union. I was studying the man's face to try to find the softest part when he upped the ante and said that things ("things") could happen to me or my family, too, if I didn't join. Then there was violence. That union never approached me again, though I expected them to for many years and always armed the crews who then began sleeping on the boats.
In still later years I found myself driving semi truck (containers) in the San Fransisco Bay area. It was a dog's life at best. The pay was abysmal, the hours were ridiculous, the Long Shoreman-run port facilities were slow and stupid and corrupt and rough and incompetent and dishonest and flat-out, downright criminal in virtually every phase of their operation. You got paid by the load or the mile. You had to run many loads in and out of the ports to make the meagerest of livings. The Long Shoremen in nearly every facility made some drivers pay them out of their own pockets to be loaded and unloaded. Don't pay......and you could spend eight hours sitting inside that facility. I did many times. I can't stomach the mere presence of any Long Shoreman even today. Talk about a hot-button. What whining, lazy, criminal babies.
Unions suck. Unions are almost exclusively corrupt. Unions are stupid. Unions don't give a rat's Goddamned ass about the people, the workers they purport to help. Unions are breaking the back of the country. I think unions murdered Kennedy. I think Obama spreads his hairy legs for unions every single day and night. Blunt enough for you? Frankly, regrettably, embarassingly, I don't posses a vocabulary adequate to the task of saying how I REALLY feel about unions. This wasn't even a warm-up.
Trouble is, in the case of outrageously dishonorable companies like Emerald City Pizza [Hut], we NEED a union. We need a union that actually DOES what it promises to do. Does such a thing exist anywhere in America? Yes, they do exist, but they're rare as hell and they're prone to veering off the straight and narrow path at the slightest provocation or whim. I'll say it again: unions suck. Unions are NOT "friends" of the working man. They are almost exclusively the leeches and parasites of the working man. But given the choice, that choice being the likes of the lying, conniving, amoral rat-bastard sons of miserable bitches at Emerald City Pizza or a lying, conniving, rat-bastard union, we're still better off with a union. And that's a hard thing to say.
How in God's name could ANYONE, ANYWHERE be better off with a Union, than with the protection of their own elected government? It seems impossible.
First, there ARE "some" good Unions. Thugs and thieves like the Teamsters or the Longshoremen aren't examples. But a few Unions really do have the best interests of the employees at heart. Unfortunately they can be counted on one hand in this country. Second, our elected government in most states OFFERS NO PROTECTION WHATSOEVER to employees. So they are probably WORSE than the worst union.
WHAT?! That's nonsense. Right? Surely it must be.
Let's get our terminology straight from the start. Washington is referred to by most people and even by both of the lawfirms we had check into this suit against Emerald City Pizza Hut as a "Right to Work" state. Hence, everyone says, any employer can fire you at any time for any reason -- because it's a "right to work" state. But the one thing doesn't follow the other.
Employers can fire you for ANY or NO reason?
Well, yes, sort of. It's true that in Washington state any employer can fire you for any reason, even a manufactured or lied-about reason. But that has nothing to do with it being a "Right to Work" state (which it technically is not). Employers who want to lie, cheat, and defraud you, maybe do so with the state's blessing because Washington is also an "at will" state. Here's what it means:
...any hiring is presumed to be "at will"; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work [without warning or notice].
Ok, so what does "Right to Work" mean? Try this link:
The concept of "Right to Work" has little or nothing to do with Emerald City Pizza Hut's (or any other Washington state company's) right to fire you without cause. It is the "at will" laws that allow scumbags like ECP to do this, and the state specifically and explicitly protects bad companies like ECP from retribution or lawsuits if/when they do fire people for no legitimate reason, or, amazingly, even if they lie about their reason for firing you, as Emerald City Pizza Hut did in this case. Washington state's "at will" laws and status give any company a license to lie with impunity. It seems the fools at Emerald City Pizza didn't even know this when they fired Rhonda, because all they really had to do was walk in and say, "We don't like people who weigh between 100 and 120 pounds, therefor, you are fired, effective immediately." And Washington state's bizarre laws, signed into effect by legislators on crack, will protect that company 'till the cows come home.
But.....but.....how can they get away with that? Why would they have such laws?
No one really seems to know. We suspect that a band of dishonest legislators were probably wined and dined by a big corporation or two, and the corporations asked for such protections, and the legislators said sure.
Look. I once was a partner in a helicopter logging operation. On days we weren't flying logs, we sometimes picked up other contracts. One of those odd random contracts involved flying legislators and other government vermin from locales around Olympia, Washington (the state capital) to a "ranch" far out in the middle of the forest that was inaccessible by road. Legislators and "officials" met out there routinely for large parties at which loads of boys and girls were brought in to take care of their every need. I was there. I saw it. Letters to the FBI over the course of YEARS went utterly unanswered. What a surprise. Legislators are NOT the kind or caliber of people you hoped they were. They're a class barely above the street crack-heads and whores in downtown Seattle.
There are a few, and only a few exceptions to the "at will" nonsense in Washington state. Those exceptions include the notion that a company cannot fire you because of your race/color, your sexual orientation, and a couple of other minor stipulations. They CAN, however, fire you because you wear brown shooes, you have blonde hair, you wear a suit, you don't wear a suit, you show up on time, you work too hard, you work too efficiently, you are being paid too much, the wind blew from the west on Wednesday, you have a cold, you have two children, you have no children, you have a dog, you have a goldfish, you drive a blue car, you are over 6 feet tall, you are under 6 feet tall, you like ice hockey, you eat spinach, you once swatted a fly, you once refused to swat a fly, your cat is orange, you secretly like hamsters, you ate a hamburger once when you were seven ---
Get it? A Washington state employer may LITERALLY write any one of these things on your termination form and get away with it. Thank you, Washington legislators, you drunken, illogical, dope-headed, child-molesting gang of genetic rejects. You've really done right for the citizens of your state.
That's what "at will" means to you and this is no exageration. Emerald City Pizza Hut could have fired Rhonda for any of these things, yet because they are stupid in that area ALSO, they chose to make up lies about her instead.
Rhonda can't sue Emerald City Pizza Hut for firing her because her wage was high, or because they blatantly and provably lied on her termination form. But she CAN sue them for firing her because her boss, Chad M. Cloke, was boisterously gay and did not like the fact that Rhonda was quietly straight and fired her for that reason.
Some attorneys think that even if we can prove this, we can't sue Emerald City Pizza Hut; we can only sue Chad Cloke -- who, of course, has no money and never will have. We disagree. We think the employer is responsible for the antics of its employees in matters such as these. Let's see if the judge or jury agrees.
A curious note: The Washington Department of Employment Security twice (twice) ruled that Rhonda's termination by Emerald City Pizza Hut was unjustified. Given Washington state's "at will" status, we don't know why the Employment Security office would even bother making such a ruling. What do they base this determination on?
We have decided to bring in a third lawfirm.
We've been advised by the first two that Rhonda does, indeed, have a valid case against Emerald City Pizza Hut (or Chad M. Cloke) for sexual discrimination and (hence) wrongful termination, and that in court she "might" prevail. But she's not willing to gamble fifteen grand on a "maybe", especially given some of the staggeringly illogical rulings I've seen come down from Washington state judges (usually political appointee judges like "Judge" Bobbe Bridge. Bottom line: we need more data to support Rhonda's case.
For that purpose we are appending a secure contact form to this site. It appears below. All entries are routed to my personal attorney for screening. Only those that are felt to have legitimate merit will be forwarded to me.
We need to be made aware of other instances of sexual discrimination in order to show a pattern of sexual discrimination within this company but especially with regard to Chad M. Cloke. "Opinions" and "gossip", while entertaining, are not usually of much help except as database fodder. We need dates and times and copies of documentation, names and termination dates of employees wrongfully fired, harassed, intimidated. We need their addresses and phone numbers, their superiors' names and positions, copies of termination forms, detailed descriptions of specific incidents. You may choose to remain anonymous. We prefer that you don't.
The form will be coded in the next few days. Remember that if you abuse the form, your home address is only a $203 subpoena away, and yes, we've obtained them in the past in other cases. We start by filing a small claims suit against your IP address, which gives us subpoena authority, then we file said subpoena against your ISP and any remailers or proxies you went through, and in a very short time you'll find us knocking at your door. We love the system sometimes.
If you're sick of the way Emerald City Pizza treats or treated you or others, tell us about it. You'll feel better once you have.
CONTACT FORM TO BE CODED HERE