A labor protest at a historic Seattle bakery turned violent Saturday and police were called when demonstrators clashed with patrons outside.
More than 80 protestors from the Seattle Solidarity Network, also known as SeaSol, picketed outside of Borracchini’s Bakery in the Rainier Valley as part of a planned protest against the owner, Remo Borracchini.
Hundreds of customers arrived in advance of the protest and launched a counter demonstration. Supporters wore red, white and green ribbons in honor of the bakery’s Italian roots.
Fights broke out among patrons and protestors after a customer offered cookies to one of the demonstrators, a bakery employee said. According to witnesses, a female member of SeaSol hit the plate of cookies out of his hands then slapped him during an argument, and the man pushed her to the ground.
A spokesperson for SeaSol said the woman was punched in the face, but KIRO-FM was not able to corroborate that statement. She received medical attention at the scene, but no arrests were made.
Seattle Solidarity launched a campaign against the bakery after a former employee claimed she was not allowed to take breaks during her nine years with the business. They have threatened to increase their involvement if the bakery does not pay her $7,901. The group has provided three letters they say are from former employees who describe a similar work environment.
Remo Borracchini and current employees have denied the group’s accusations. A store manager showed KIRO-FM surveillance video of the employee taking breaks.
WARNING: This video contains derogatory language.