Mar 28, 2022
Fleishers Craft Butchery reopens eight months after employee walkout
The butcher chain was forced to close after employees walked out in protest over forced removal of BLM and pro-LGBTQ+ signs
Fleishers Craft Butchery has quietly reopened its Park Slope location eight months after an employee boycott forced the chain to shut down.
The company started posting on Instagram earlier this month without directly acknowledging the controversy, which arose when majority shareholder Robert Rosania asked the company’s CEO to remove Black Lives Matter and pro-LGBTQ+ signage from the shops’ windows.
“The team has been mindful and purposeful in creating a fresh look for the stores—and of course, we remain singularly focused on delivering the freshest, highest quality meat to your fork,” one caption reads.
According to Eater, its Instagram account had even briefly allowed comments. But people flooded Fleishers’ posts with comments asking about controversy. “Just figured you’d wait some time, restaff, and everyone would forget about it? Why not just apologize and do better? Maybe after awhile people will start shopping there, again. You’re in NYC, not fucking Nebraska,” one person wrote.
Comments on Fleishers’ Instagram have now been turned off.
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CEO John Adams told Eater that it doesn’t plan to address last summer’s incident. “We’re not going to put out some statement for an event that happened eight months ago,” Adams told the website. “I don’t think that is productive for my employees. I don’t think it is productive for the community that we’re in. I don’t think it is helpful for our customers.”
Adams is Fleishers’ fourth CEO in as many years. During his short tenure, he had, according to a former employee of Fleishers in Park Slope, earned the support of the staff by promising to be a “barrier” between them and Rosania, a wealthy real estate mogul and champagne collector, that told him to pull down the stores’ signage.
Rosania’s decision caused a contentious call between management and employees last summer. Although Adams replaced the signs, the damage was done. Dozens of employees—well over half of the total staff—resigned in the following days. Rosania apologized in a letter to employees at the time, detailing a plan to create a more supportive work environment.
“You deserve to feel heard, valued, and fully supported at work,” Rosania wrote in his letter last year. “I realize removing the signs that express support for the basic human rights of our black and LGBTQ employees and customers was not in the spirit of supporting your feelings, along with a longer-term lapse in communications as we’ve gone through growing pains. For this please accept my heartfelt apologies.”
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