According to an email sent out by the New York State United Teachers (the teachers’ union), a group named New Choice NY had booked Panza’s Restaurant at its new location on South Broadway for a special dinner event. New Choice NY is the deep pocketed oranization that is seeking to bust public sector unions in New York State and has sent representatives to the homes of union members asking them to drop their union membership. New Choice invited public employees who dropped their union membership to join them for a free dinner [JK: Not a bad perk] and the opportunity to meet Rebecca Friedrichs. Ms. Friedrichs was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case of Frierichs v. California Teachers Association. This case was the precursor to the Janus Case which ruled against public sector unions’ ability to collect partial dues (agency fees) from non-members who were covered by a union negotiated contract.. There was a possibility that Mark Janus might also be featured at the event.
The two cases were a blow to public employee unions nationally as it made it illegal to require that in union shops, all employees, whether members of a union or not, were required to pay a portion of union dues.
According to NYSUT, the event was booked at Panza’s under a private individual’s name. Panza’sRestaurant was unaware of the true sponsor of the event. When Mr. Panza learned about what the reservation was actually for he contacted the New Choice NY representative listed on the invitation and informed her that he could not accommodate them.
It is important to note that I have not spoken to Mr. Panza and have no knowledge beyond the above regarding Mr. Panza’s actions.