Compliments Only Workers Stage Walkout for $21/hour and a Union

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 15, 2023) – Today at noon, the staff of Compliments Only, an award-winning sandwich shop in Dupont, staged a walkout to demand better pay and a union.

Today’s protest comes only days after the restaurant won the RAMMY Award for “Hottest Sandwich Shop” by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. As a result of the recent accolades, the company expected an increase in customers over the weekend, and workers timed their walkout to correspond with the surge in foot traffic.

“We didn’t become hottest sandwich shop in DC by doing the bare minimum, so why should we be paid the bare minimum?” said Jessica Fox, who prepares sandwiches at Compliments Only. “We opened during a pandemic when other places were shutting down. The odds were against us. But we stepped up and made this place succeed. Now it’s time for management to step up and make sure we succeed too.”

Workers previously delivered a petition signed by the staff calling on management to increase pay to $21/hour. After the owners refused, the staff presented them with an agreement to raise pay and officially recognize their union. After management refused again, the workers planned today’s walkout.

The workers have chosen to affiliate with United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 Union, which has recently organized workers at other popular businesses in the area, including La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Solid State Books, and Politics and Prose.

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United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 is led by President Mark Federici and represents 35,000 members working in the grocery, retail, health care, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.