This week in labor

Ariana Costakes

A Park Slope coffee shop is up and running again after the entire staff resigned on April 9th in protest of working conditions under co-owner Carol McLaughlin. The workers at Gorilla Coffee were not unionized so the owners simply hired all new staff and reopened yesterday.

Former employees described the workplace under McLaughlin as a “perpetually malicious, hostile and demeaning work environment” (NYT). Owner Darleen Scherer admitted McLaughlin ran the cafe “like a drill sargent” but said she was unaware that her employees were unhappy. Scherer said she paid her staff fairly and provided benefits.

“If they had made it clear that my coaching technique was not being received well, I could have changed it,” Ms. McLaughlin told the New York Times.

The cafe’s owners used the time it took to hire new staff to refinish floors and repair appliances.


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