Ass-grabbing oyster shuckers no longer allowed to work at Durgin-Park

A Mother's Day incident at the legendary Quincy Market eatery left one worker facing criminal charges, another quitting in tears and the restaurant facing possible disciplinary action by the Boston Licensing Board.

At a licensing-board hearing today, restaurant managers and waitresses acknowledged an oyster shucker routinely grabbed female employees, none of whom informed management - until Mother's Day, when police arrived to investigate a report the man had grabbed one waitress by the buttocks and then grabbed her again after she told him to stop and punched him at least twice.

Restaurant manager Seana Kelley vowed to keep it from happening again. The worker was fired and Kelley hired an outside human-resources firm to investigate the attack and to train restaurant staffers on sexual harassment and appropriate workplace behavior.

According to a police report, the oyster shucker had "a history of grabbing ass." That account was confirmed by two waitresses who testified before the board today - both of whom acknowledged they had never reported the activity.

All agreed Durgin-Park had what one of them called "a lot of that flirty interaction going on in the entire restaurant," which included touches, massages and, in at least this guy's case, ass grabbing.

That waitress, who said she observed part of the 1 p.m. incident, said "initially it just seemed like typical everybody flirts."

According to waitress and police accounts, the oyster shucker came from behind his station, grabbed the waitress - a college student majoring in hospitality management - by the buttocks and gave a squeeze.

"They were kidding around and I saw [the waitress] hit him on shoulder and then his arm went down to her backside and then she said 'Don't touch my ass," another waitress testified. "It stopped being kidding around."

When one waitress acknowledged getting touched inappropriately by the man in the past and then not reporting it, board Chairman Nicole Murati Ferrer asked why. The waitress she just didn't know.

A third waitress, older than the other two, said the man never touched her. "Maybe 40 years ago," she said, which provoked laughter among several men in the audience, waiting for other hearings.

"It doesn't matter," Ferrer told her. "You're still an attractive woman. I don't know why anyone over there is laughing."

Neither the waitress herself, nor the man - who faces a charge of indecent assault and battery - attended the hearing.

The board meets Thursday to consider what action, if any, to take. Ferrer told the waitresses they should immediately report any more harassment to managers - but that if they feel uncomfortable doing that, let the board know.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Not surprised

Most kitchens are staffed by immigrants, some of whom might not understand that in the U.S, you don't touch a woman's buttocks. That's fine if they just don't know and they make a mistake one time...but you gotta educate them. Only time you do that is if the girl is in your bed.

Uh, I meant what I said

There are countries out there that, unlike the civilized U.S, don't have concepts such as "women's rights" and "no means no." In those countries, you can do whatever you want with a woman.

Perhaps some of these kitchen workers come from said countries to work in the U.S, unaware that in the U.S, you don't grab a woman's ass when she tells you not to do it.

Only a Universal Hub commenter would get up my ass for standing up for women's rights.

Your logic?

So, if I follow the logic of your posting:

  1. Unidentified assailant assaults woman.
  2. "Maybe he's an immigrant
  3. "This attack just goes to confirm what jerks people from some countries are."

(Facepalm)

They're not jerks if it's acceptable in their country. They're just naive and need to learn. That's not a foul if they make one mistake one time.

Is everybody who posts here really this slow?

Just so you know, your

Just so you know, your painting of foreign cultures as backwards and uncivilized hellholes filled with naive dinks who just need some good ol' American teachings (because women are in no way treated like objects in the US or anything) is pretty stupid.

Even if it's not Boston

If you're not talking about the sous chef or the head chef, Will's assumption is actually a pretty fair one these days to be honest.

I'm guessing "oyster shucker" at Union Oyster House isn't looking for one of the well-schooled technicians in the food industry to do the job.

I'm not commenting on the rest of his assumptions about behaviorisms of people from other countries, just that immigrant workers (legal and not) often account for a large portion of the less skilled labor in commercial kitchens these days.