While I was running for Mayor of Orlando, I met some incredible people in our community. I was not just asking for votes or support, I was getting to know them and their struggles, their hopes and their dreams. A group of workers I got to know were betrayed by the City of Orlando and the Orlando Venues after years of service. To me, it’s the workers that make things like the Amway Center a real part of our City Beautiful.
Now, they are still struggling after the brutal layoffs late last year and early this year. Their untold stories are important for Orlando to recognize. After getting to know these workers, the least I could do is put their narrative out there. The workers clearly target Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando Venues executives Allen Johnson and Michael Thompson, as they blame a broken “buddy” system and cite cronyism in Orlando. Our workers deserve better.
My article telling a piece of these former city workers’ stories is published in West Orlando News and can be found clicking here.
“They ruined a lot of people’s lives, and people should know about it,” said former city venues employee Stephen Golub. Golub is currently in the process of losing his home as the part-time second job with the Orlando Venues provided a needed $10,000/year to supplement his cost of living, medical bills and housing costs.
“It’s just not right,” said Jose Morales, also a former city employee at the Orlando Venues. “I was let go after 8 years of service. They sent me a letter. They made it clear it was not my job performance. I knew I always gave 100% of my time and they are letting me go while hiring new people off the streets.”
“Whenever they called me, I did my job,” said Craig Sniff. “My managers knew you could count on me. In the rain, bad weather, in the sun, in the heat. No matter what it was, I did my job, and I got let go for it. We didn’t deserve to lose our jobs and we didn’t deserve to be told what we were told.”
The harsh words are directed right at the establishment power controlling the Orlando Venues, specifically the top three names associated with Orlando Venues. Many Amway employees spoke on and off the record regarding Orlando Venues Executive Director Allen Johnson, Orlando Venues Division Manager Michael Thompson and the executives’ personal friend and “boss” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer…