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Thirteen former employees of Eugene's Restaurant at 1001 Mass Ave. yesterday filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), charging the restaurant's new managers fired them for trying to unionize.
On Wednesday night, members of the group, which has set up a picket line in front of the restaurant, were involved in a fight with three present employees of Eugene's. Both sides filed charges of assault and battery in Middlesex County court this week.
Three weeks ago the owners of 33 Dunster Street, Ralph and Molly Hoagland, took over managing the restaurant and on Wednesday issued formal notices of termination to all waiters and waitresses.
The notices stated that the management would possibly rehire some of the employees, and several were interviewed and taken back. Employees who were not rehired, some of whom refused to be interviewed, formed the picket lines.
Picketers said yesterday they were fired because they notified the Hoaglands Monday that they were trying to join the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers, a union which does not restrict its membership to electrical craftsmen.
"It's illegal to fire us for forming a union," Mittie Luetara, a waitress who was interviewed but not rehired, said yesterday.
The complaint filed with the NLRB states that the management of Eugene's "threatened and coerced its employees because of their union."
Ralph Hoagland said yesterday the employees were not fired because they were trying to unionize, adding that he planned to terminate all employees and rehire those who were interviewed and were qualified to work under the new management.
Hoagland said the picketers outside the restaurant--located next door to the Orson Welles Cinema--are "informational leafletters who do not work for us."
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