A coalition of local women's groups observing International Women's Day will march today to the Pewter Pot restaurant in Boston, where employees are on strike, seeking recognition for their union.
"The march is to celebrate women's strength and potential women's power," Elizabeth Horowitz, an organizer of the observance, said yesterday.
International Women's Day is an annual event originated in 1908 by a socialist women's group as a protest against women's working conditions in New York.
The marchers will assemble at the State House at 1:30 p.m. and will march past the Massachusetts State Welfare offices to the Pewter Pot restaurant in Copley Square.
"We are marching past the Welfare Office to protest the treatment of women and children who are human beings, but who are not treated as such by the Welfare Office," Horowitz said.
At the Pewter Pot, the marchers will meet strikers who have been picketing there since last December, she said.
The workers have been trying to gain recognition for their union, the Independent Restaurant Workers Union, a striking worker, Deborah F. Ridings, said yesterday. The dispute culminated in a walkout begun February 25, she added.
The strikers are making five demands, but the most important is job security, Ridings said. "Job security means a job contract and a union, and a bargaining agent to work with the management," she said. "You don't get anything without a union."
Ridings said the other demands are: sick pay, hospitalization insurance, time-and-one-half for overtime and "a living wage."
Horowitz said, that although the present wage is $1.15 per hour, recently hired non-union workers have been paid as much as $2.25.
John A. Rossetti, the manager of the Copley Square Pewter Pot, denied that non-union waiters or waitresses had been hired since the strike began. He said workers have already been granted all of their demands, except for overtime pay.
Speaking about job security yesterday, he said that "workers can be fired at any time without severance pay," but that "severance pay is unheard of in the restaurant industry." Restaurants generally employ people who will only work for short periods of time, he added.
Rossetti said the Pewter Pot employees' wages are "above the minimum wage for restaurant work."