For the last month or two, a local carpenters union has spent day after day picketing Insight Coffee and Magpie Cafe for being the future tenants of Powerhouse 16, which the union says isn't paying high enough wages. (Representatives of Powerhouse 16's contractors deny that assertion.)
Since Cowtown Eats first wrote about this issue, other reporters have also covered the story.
First, Ryan Lillis in Monday's Sac Bee:
Magpie and Insight aren’t building their new digs; they’ll simply be tenants. Bay Miry, the developer building 16 Powerhouse, said the project didn’t receive big public subsidies and therefore wasn’t required to use union labor. But he said his workers are getting “standard market-rate wages” and are being treated fairly.
The union isn’t buying it. In a lengthy written statement, Scott Littlehale, a Local 46 spokesman, said Insight and Magpie haven’t demanded that carpenters building the new shops get paid wages and benefits meeting area standards. “The people who construct the buildings that are the bones of our community won’t sit idly and watch the middle-class American dream slip away,” he wrote.
Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.
Sac News & Review's Jordan Venema covers some of the customer reaction.
It is questionable whether or not the Local 46 demonstrations effectively communicate the wider issue, let alone the issue at hand, which involves 16 Powerhouse. When Local 46 claims that businesses like Insight and Magpie are morally and economically responsible for contractors to provide standard area wages, it raises the question: What are the degrees of separation between a business and its responsibility for standard area wages?
Because Magpie and Insight are popular locally owned businesses, images of the Grim Reaper picketing their storefronts began showing up on Facebook and Twitter last week. “There is a court of public opinion, and we believe that 98 percent of people are in our camp,” Ryan said of the conversation on social media....
A few blocks away on Tenth Street, local photographer and downtown Insight regular Nicholas Wray stood out front with union protesters for hours last week, holding a sign that read “I [heart] Insight.”
Read the entire article in Sac News & Review.
Now, fellow restaurants have taken to social media to show their support for Magpie Cafe and Insight Coffee.
I went to Insight Capitol Cafe to show my support for them on Thursday, and I'm going to try to get a seat at Magpie for dinner on Friday. If you can, you should support these two local business too.
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