Route 9: Local Favorite Under Fire

The Route 9 Diner, a favorite among us Amherst area college students has been under fire recently after former waitresses came forward saying they were sexually harassed while working at the restaurant. The waitresses came forward on blogs and their claims went viral. The Diner is still in operation and the owners have released some statements. Owners of the diner will have staff trained on sexual harassment, as well instate new restaurant policies regarding sexual harassment.

This was very disappointing to hear about, not only because the diner is a frequently-visited establishment by college students and Valley residents, but because women are being subjected to this kind of treatment at their workplace. My last article talked about my own experience on the bus when I was harrassed. I think it is something that needs to be addressed. I applaud these women for sharing their stories because it was brave and it is important for people to know that this kind of stuff is happening.

Marie Billiel in her “Tales from the Diner” blog post wrote, “my days were so commonly punctuated by stares and sexual comments that I wrote it off as part of my job.” In the post she explains in detail how the cooks would touch her, kiss her, or even bring her into the walk-in cooler. This was such a frequent occurrence that as she said, it felt like it was a part of her job. That is honestly disgusting that grown men were targeting these waitresses and nothing was being done about it. Billiel mentions that management at the diner did nothing to change what was going on. After one incident she tried telling her manager that she had been dragged into the walk in cooler and that the cook had tried to kiss her. They did nothing about the incident and the cook continued to work there.

It is necessary to point out that the biggest problem with this whole situation is the fact that the management did not do anything to protect their workers. They were aware of what was going on and yet, they did not do anything about it. In my opinion, a manager is not only there to make sure the customers are happy, but also the employees by ensuring that they are working in a safe environment! The fact that these waitresses were used sexual harassment as part of the job reflects poorly on management. The waitresses that came forward highlighted two important current day issues: worker's rights and women's rights. It is imperative that these issues be addressed because if it can happen at the diner it can happen anywhere.

Other waitresses have come forward sharing their own stories. Here is the link to Billiel’s blog, at the bottom she has listed the links to the other waitresses’ blogs as well. I highly recommend you take a look at them. If you do not think that women being targeted is an issue then these will change your mind.

Photos: 1, 2, 3

Source: 1