Union Expense Forces 92-Year-Old Restaurant to Close

The Cafe des Artistes has been doing a steady restaurant business in New York City since 1917, but is now forced to close its doors. One of the main reasons for this happens to be the fact that the Cafe is unfortunate enough to be a union restaurant and the exorbitant costs of supporting a union workforce has contributed to killing the business.

A blog called the 212DressingRoom, a website about New York fashion, culture, art and other rather Bohemian subjects, has detailed the sad end of the long time café written by the owner of the place, Jennifer Lang.

The decision to close the Cafe is exceedingly painful to make, but inevitable. We are one of the very, very few independent restaurants in New York City that operates with a union; many of those have closed in the last few years, and hundreds have closed in the last few decades. In that respect, we are a dinosaur because the huge added expense of having a union restaurant can be crippling, especially when the economy takes a nosedive.

Since 99% of the independent restaurants in New York City do not have a union, we are not playing on a level playing field with the rest of our competition. One example: We pay approximately $250,000 more each year for health insurance and pension coverage for our employees than we would if we were paying for non-union coverage.

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This is a stark reminder that unions kill profitability and cost jobs. A minute can be spent here to realize what the Obama administration’s “cure” for this sort of situation is, too.

With its support for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bill that will likely assist the growth of unions nationwide, we will see the “playing field leveled,” alright. But it won’t be beneficial to anyone because what we will see is that everyone will wind up hurting. Many businesses will close and those that are left will have fewer employees because they won’t be able to expand as they are stifled with union expense.

Mrs. Lang ably shows that unions weigh a business down and destroy its competitiveness. Sadly, New York will lose a long-time favorite eatery because unions have killed it.

And Obama wants to unleash this destructive force on the whole country.

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