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Screen Shop Workers Protest Outside of Building Following Layoffs

They’re accusing the business of unfair treatment, while the owner calls their demands “extortion.”




Screen Shop Workers Protest Outside of Building Following Layoffs
Former employees of Crushin’ It Apparel protest outside of the business. Credit: Worker Justice Wisconsin

Crushin’ It Apparel, a screen printing business in Madison, Wisconsin, is the subject of local media reports as ex-employees have taken to picketing outside of the shop.

The protests started after owner Jeremy Kruk fired nine of his workers who refused to retract their names from a signed letter asking for better working conditions and more pay, The Capital Times reports.

“[Kruk] got angry because we came to deliver the letter saying we’d like to talk or have dialogue with him,” machine operator David Tecuatl told the outlet. “He doesn’t offer to talk with us or hear our complaints or listen to us.”

The letter was written after multiple employees reported problems receiving and depositing their paychecks. Kruk acknowledged the pay issues to The Capital Times, attributing the check problems to the company exceeding its allowed number of transactions within a month. He said that issue has since been resolved.

He also said the company’s funds are stretched thin after a recent fire destroyed the shop’s prior facility and all of its equipment. Kruk, however, noted employees were fully paid for the four months the company was closed after the fire.

“Shame on me because that’s how people repay you,” Kruk said, characterizing the ex-employees’ demands as “extortion.” He also called the letter written by the employees with the help of the nonprofit group Worker Justice Wisconsin, “an astronomically malicious and terrible thing to do to a small business.”


Read more at The Capital Times.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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