NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is controversy at a popular butcher with locations in New York City and Connecticut. Workers walked off the job, after the company took down signs supporting Black Lives Matter and other causes.
It’s a butcher shop typically bustling with business, but instead the doors are closed at Fleishers’ four locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westport, Connecticut.READ MORE: Pride Celebrations Turn Violent As NYPD Clashes With Crowd In Washington Square Park
“It doesn’t feel good to be told that you’re not of value,” said Ajani Thompson, manager of the location in Park Slope.
Dozens of workers, including three that spoke to CBS2’s Andrea Grymes, walked off the job last month in protest. They say Fleishers investor Rob Rosania demanded that signs in the shops supporting gay pride and Black Lives Matter be taken down.
“The injustice that was incurred by many employees of this company, this disrespect is so deep, I can’t help but stand by all of the people who left and be one of those people, myself,” added Christopher Edmunds, the assistant manager in Westport.
CBS2 reached out to Fleishers for comment. A spokesperson referred Grymes to a letter Rosania later sent employees, which said, in part, “I realize removing the signs that express support for the basic human rights of our Black and LGBTQ employees and customers was not in that spirit of supporting your feelings … for this, please accept my heartfelt apologies.”READ MORE: When This High School Valedictorian Started Giving A Speech About Being Queer, The Principal Took The Mic
In Park Slope, a gay pride sign has returned to the window.
Most shoppers Grymes spoke with said they stand with the workers who walked.
“I am completely in support of that. All of those things that were up reflect how everyone feels here and I do believe they should be allowed to express it,” patron Ophira Eisenberg said.
“I support the employees 100%,” another person said.
“I don’t think they should’ve walked out, but I don’t think they should’ve taken the signs out, either. Both sides overreacted,” added Charlie Norwalk of the Upper East Side.
Signs on the door say Fleishers will be temporarily closed through the end of August. Workers said Rosania’s apology is not enough to make them come back.MORE NEWS: #TogetherInPride: Events Galore During Busy Weekend In NYC
The letter also said the company will be having meetings with staffers as it rededicates the business to being a welcoming place for everyone.