Commissary employees fill in for deli workers in pay protest
Stars and Stripes June 3, 2003
DARMSTADT, Germany — Regular commissary workers took over deli duties at the commissary on Nathan Hale Depot after deli employees refused to work over the weekend, citing problems with their pay.
It is unclear if deli workers will return to work on Wednesday. The commissary is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Meanwhile, employees of the deli in Heidelberg reported similar problems, saying that 13 people staged a six-day walkout at the Patrick Henry Village commissary after they didn’t receive their paychecks.
In Darmstadt, deli employees told management that they refused to work after German contractor Wolf GMBH had not paid workers on time. After workers didn’t show up on Saturday, regular store employees were asked to man the deli counter.
Commissary employees are allowed to work the deli if need be, and no violations were made with handling food, according to Kay Blakley, a Defense Commissary Agency spokeswoman.
“Our shoppers were happy we got the deli opened by noon on Saturday and also on Sunday,” Blakley said.
In Heidelberg, store manager Angelita Garrido confirmed that a Wolf GMBH representative showed up at the commissary last week and paid several workers in cash. Other workers who were not present did not recieve any pay.
The Wolf representative asked a commissary deli assistant to take all the rest of the money owed to the deli employees and distribute it, but the assistant didn’t want to take the responsibility, Garrido said.
Garrido — who has been working 12-hour days and closing the shop regularly since no one else wants to work — said she has not been paid.
Now, Wolf GMBH has promised to come back to the Heidelberg deli on June 10 through the 12, which means those employees are being paid two weeks late.
“We still have not been paid, and this is already June,” said a former employee of the Heidelberg deli, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear the money owed would not be paid. “It’s been terrible since he took over the deli. He waits until the last moment to pay people or doesn’t pay them at all.”
Wolf GMBH officials could not be reached for comment.