Sunday, August 19, 2018
Public safety

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.

Comments
North Carolina fugitives, charged with shooting at cops, found and arrested in Treasure Island

North Carolina fugitives, charged with shooting at cops, found and arrested in Treasure Island

TREASURE ISLAND — Two men on the run from law enforcement in North Carolina were found hiding in Treasure Island — armed with an AR-15, a machete and a pipe bomb, deputies said — leading to a standoff with a SWAT team that ended early Sunday morning....
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa holds a birthday vigil for Lillia Raubenolt, the young girl killed on Bayshore

Tampa holds a birthday vigil for Lillia Raubenolt, the young girl killed on Bayshore

Somewhere Over the Rainbow was the first song Lillia Raubenolt’s parents sang to her as a newborn, according to her uncle, John Reisinger."They were just so happy when she was born," he said.But on May 23, while the family was visiting Tampa from Ohi...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Man in Spring Hill airlifted to hospital with severe electrical burns

Man in Spring Hill airlifted to hospital with severe electrical burns

A man has been airlifted to a local hospital after suffering severe electrical burns while trimming trees in Spring Hill.In a release, Pasco County Fire Rescue said the man was working on a lift and was airborne in the 18000 Block of Skinner Dr. in S...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Clearwater police: Truck flips on U.S. 19, killing 40-year-old driver

Clearwater police: Truck flips on U.S. 19, killing 40-year-old driver

CLEARWATER — A 40-year-old man died after flipping his truck on U.S. 19 early Sunday morning, police reported.About 3:02 a.m., Michael Bellavia, 40, of Clearwater, was heading northbound on the highway, exiting at NE Coachman Road, according to the ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Police: Driver, 26, goes wrong way on Courtney Campbell, dies after car flips into water

Police: Driver, 26, goes wrong way on Courtney Campbell, dies after car flips into water

CLEARWATER — A 26-year-old died after heading the wrong way on the Courtney Campbell Causeway and falling into the water early Sunday morning, police reported.About 4:13 a.m., Scott Anthony Wolf, 26, of Lee County, was driving a 2004 Chrysler Crossfi...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Girl, 6, found slain in her Albuquerque-area home has connections to Wimauma

Girl, 6, found slain in her Albuquerque-area home has connections to Wimauma

The family of a 6-year-old girl found dead in New Mexico last weekend is trying to bring her remains to Wimauma.Court documents say the body of Ariana "Jade" Romeo was found at her home in Rio Rancho north of Albuquerque on bloody sheets with marijua...
Published: 08/18/18
Updated: 08/19/18
Woman dead after boyfriend shoots her once, returns and shoots again, deputies say

Woman dead after boyfriend shoots her once, returns and shoots again, deputies say

LARGO — A man faces a charge of murder after firing a shot at his girlfriend as she visited a travel trailer in Largo, fleeing the scene, then returning to the trailer and shooting her again a number of times, deputies said.Nathaniel J. Yates, 32, o...
Published: 08/18/18
Deputies find body in burning vehicle near Disney World miniature golf course

Deputies find body in burning vehicle near Disney World miniature golf course

A body was found in a burning vehicle near a Disney World miniature golf course early Saturday, according to WKMG News 6 Orlando.Authorities were initially called to a vehicle fire about 4 a.m. at Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course, 120...
Published: 08/18/18
Girlfriend of murder suspect arrested, too, in aftermath of Hudson drug shootout

Girlfriend of murder suspect arrested, too, in aftermath of Hudson drug shootout

HUDSON — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office made a second arrest Saturday in the aftermath of a drug-related shootout Wednesday night that left one man dead and a woman critically injured.Deputies arrested Alexas Marie Gregas, 19, of Hudson, on charge...
Published: 08/18/18
Levy County man, 53, killed trying to pass truck north of Inverness

Levy County man, 53, killed trying to pass truck north of Inverness

INVERNESS — A 53-year-old Levy County man died when he collided with a Mack truck while trying to pass it north of Inverness, the Florida Highway Patrol said.Claude Pepper Blount Jr. was headed south on U.S. 41 near Overdrive Circle about 1:50 p.m. F...
Published: 08/18/18