The employees, under the collective name of “The Seeds,” have created social accounts on Instagram and Facebook, where they state that the move to close the restaurant was made by the owners, following requests for them to acknowledge the formation of a worker union at the restaurant.
The call for a union, according to the social media accounts, was made following the firing of one of the other employees on August 8. The workers delivered a letter to management on August 8 asking for a meeting and a request for the acknowledgment of their union and then another letter on Monday, August 10.
View this post on Instagram
*link in bio* DANDELION COMMUNITY CAFE JUST LOCKED OUT THEIR STAFF IN RETALIATION FOR UNION ORGANIZING. At 4pm the dandelion staff delivered a letter to management announcing our union. We wanted a meeting with management to address our concerns in a collaborative fashion, we also demanded the rehiring of an employee that was unlawfully fired on August 8th. This employee was fired for asking to have a staff meeting. Rather than meeting with us and working with our union to address our concerns, the owner, Chris Blanc, sent a group message stating they were closing the cafe until the end of the week and that all employees are locked out until further notice. This is a clear retaliation and violation of our right to unionize and participate in concerted activity. THIS LOCK OUT IS AN UNLAWFUL. We are publicly calling on Dandelion to immediately end the lockout and allow us back to work. We are asking the central Florida community, especially our customers, to support us and stand in solidarity with us to sign our public letter of support. #theseeds #thedandyseeds #dandelion #dandelioncommunitycafe #dandelioncafe #restaurantworkers #workingclass #union #unionstrong #iww #1u #1bu #solidarity #community #cfliww #labormovement #organizing
The restaurant was found locked to employees Tuesday morning who say they received a text from one of the owners explaining that it would remain closed through the end of the week. We reached out to the owners for comment but had not heard back at the time of this post but the website has since been updated to read “Dandelion Community Cafe is closed. Until further notice.”
Dandelion Community Cafe is located at 618 N. Thornton Avenue [GMap].
This is the second time during the pandemic that a vegetarian restaurant in the Mills 50 District has made headlines, albeit for much different reasons. Read more about the recent closure of Sanctum Cafe over on OrlandoWeekly.com.