Argonaut Diner employees strike following recent firing of manager
At least eight employees at a Yonkers diner are on strike after a manager was fired.
The former employees of the restaurant on Yonkers Avenue say they were overworked and discriminated against because of their legal status.
The dispute began after the owner of the diner died a few months ago, setting off a rift between family members.
Danielle Kollias is the former manager who was fired. She is related to the former and new owners and says she was let go because she tried to protect Spanish-speaking workers.
“I was defending them every day,” says Kollias. “I defended them on and off time and time again. This is what it came too.”
News 12 is told an employee was injured on the job and wasn’t provided paid time off or assistance with medical bills.
The current manager, Tina Lobue, says they are willing to rehire the employees who went on strike.
“We let her go and only her,” says Lobue.
However, the employees say they refuse to return until the manager who was fired is hired back.
"We are hardworking people, we come to work. No matter the working conditions but with this firing we can't put up with it anymore,” says former employee Lidia Candelarao.
Kollias is in the process of filing a complaint with the Westchester County Human Rights Commission, but Lobue believes this is not a situation involving discrimination.
Instead, Lobue says Kollias was caught stealing and the owners are in the process of pressing charges – an allegation Kollias denies.
"I don't know what she convinced these other people and it’s sad because a lot of these people we really cared about,” says Lobue. “They've been with us for years and she dragged them with her."