Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Protesters descend on Tampa restaurant firm controlled by Bain Capital

About 175 people organized by employee-rights advocates protested Monday afternoon outside the Bloomin' Brands corporate headquarters on N West Shore Boulevard.

Among their demands: a significant pay boost for workers whose companies are overseen by Bain Capital.

They waved signs proclaiming "Don't let Bain Capital destroy the middle class" and chanted slogans that included, "How many millions do you need? We've got hungry mouths to feed!"

Bloomin' Brands runs Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and other restaurant chains. It is controlled by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once run by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The protesters included a handful of people who identified themselves as employees of Bain-controlled companies. They included Mike Stuart, 29, of Philadelphia, who said he is an assistant manager at Guitar Center, a musical equipment retailer.

Stuart said he has been working for the chain for five years and is still making the $7.25 an hour minimum wage.

"I'm not looking to be a millionaire, but a couple of extra dollars would help out," he said.

Simeon Uddin also said he was an employee of a Bain-controlled retail outlet, which he would not identify.

"I'm here for a better future for my kids so they don't have to go through the struggles that I do," said Uddin, 30, of Cincinnati.

The minimum wage, he said, needs to be $10 to $12 an hour for anyone who hopes to make a living from it.

Darrin Little, 44, who said he has worked for 10 years as a chef at a Carrabba's in Novi, Mich, near Detroit, said he flew to Tampa to hand-deliver a letter to Bloomin' Brands' chief executive officer. Little said his pay has climbed just $3 to $14 an hour in those 10 years.

The letter asks for equal treatment of rank-and-file employees of the restaurant chain, whose wage increases, Little said, have not kept up with those given to management.

"I was greeted by a bunch of security and police officers and told I couldn't come in the building," he said.

So he called the office. He ended up speaking to a woman who said she couldn't come down to accept the letter.

After protesting for about 30 minutes, the protesters – which included members of the group The 99 Uniting -- boarded four charter buses and departed.

Protesters descend on Tampa restaurant firm controlled by Bain Capital 08/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 6:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  2. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles

    Wildlife

    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]
  3. Photo of the Day for September 22, 2017 - Willets taking flight

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dan Cleary of Madeira Beach, FL.

  4. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  5. Puerto Rico could face months without electricity after Hurricane Maria (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The eye of Hurricane Maria was nearing the Turks and Caicos early Friday as Puerto Rico sought to recover from the storm's devastation.

    A pregnant woman carries empty plastic bottles to collect water a day after the impact of Hurricane Maria, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, Thursday, September 21, 2017. As of Thursday evening, Maria was moving off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic with winds of 120 mph (195 kph). The storm was expected to approach the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas late Thursday and early Friday. [Associated Press]