Workers Protest Pizza House for Homophobia and Violence Against Former Employee
by Nayeli García , Unidad Latina en Acción
On Tuesday, March 21, community groups protested at Pizza House restaurant (89 Howe St., New Haven) with Javier Lavado, a former employee who suffered homophobia, intimidation, and physical violence at the hands of the manager, Luis Nagera.
On Feb. 25, 2023, Lavado was verbally and physically assaulted by the manager Nagera. This incident was reported to the police and NHPD Officer Blanco inexplicably decided not to make an arrest.
Lavado reported to police that on Feb. 25, Nagera had been intoxicated and was very aggressive when Lavado disagreed with him about the correct way to put cheese on a pizza. Nagera physically assaulted Lavado and used hate language, telling him that he was a “poor faggot.”
On March 9, a commission from ULA went to the pizzeria with a letter addressed to the owner, Peter Papadopoulos, requesting a friendly meeting between the parties to avoid legal action. Papadopoulos refused to receive the letter and accused Lavado of trespassing, even though he knew that Lavado was on the sidewalk the whole time.
Given the refusal of dialogue by the owner of Pizza House and the history of violence that exists there, ULA has decided to start public and legal actions against the establishment. ULA has received complaints from other former employees about the intimidating actions that the manager continually uses when he is allegedly drunk.
ULA demands that Pizza House fire Nagera immediately for his disrespect for his co-workers, his homophobia, and violence. ULA demands monetary compensation for Javier Lavado for the abuse suffered there. ULA also calls on the New Haven Police Department to arrest Nagera for the hate speech and physical attack perpetrated on Lavado on Feb. 25, 2023. ULA also calls on the New Haven community to boycott Pizza House until our demands are resolved.
For information, contact Briam Timko, 201-370-7998. Unidad Latina en Acción is a grassroots organization defending human rights of immigrants and workers in Connecticut since 2002. Visit our website at ulanewhaven.org.