One fast-food restaurant in the Plantsville section of Southington has been without air-conditioning for more than a month.
As the temperatures continue to rise, Eyewitness News went to get answers for the workers.
“It's been very hot, very humid, very sweaty,” one employee, who wished not to be identified, said.
That’s what at least one employee said about the conditions at the Arby's, located at 867 Meriden-Waterbury Tpke. These conditions have lasted for the past six weeks.
Many customers said they are bailing as soon as they step foot inside the restaurant.
“Right off the bat, as soon as I walked in, it was hotter inside than it is outside and it's extremely hot today,” James Hawkins, of West Haven, said.
Customers, who do stay, said their stops last for about 30 minutes. The workers said they are sweating for at least eight hours a day and they're going to extremes to stay cool.
“Going inside the freezer taking breaks inside the freezer, stuff like that,” one employee, who wished not to be identified, said.
Eyewitness News took measurements inside the Arby's on Monday. Five fans were placed throughout the restaurant. Eyewitness News stuck our thermometer right in front of one and it read 87.6. The station couldn't get to the kitchen, but this employee said it's sweltering.
“Especially in the back of the house, where you have your fires and ovens going all the time, it's gets to about 100 degrees inside the building,” one employee said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Southington Board of Health. But, they said their hands were tied.
“There's no parameters for heat,” Director of Health Southington Shane Lockwood said. “If it was cold, under 65 degrees, we could take care of that. But with the hot temperatures, there's nothing we can enforce.”
“We've been waiting on corporate to get us an air-conditioning,” one employee, who wished not to be identified, said.
With the hottest stretch of the year upon us, there was no time to waste. Eyewitness News reached out to Arby's headquarters in Georgia, and they're promising a quick fix. saying the restaurant
Arbys corporate said in a statement on Monday that the restaurant “is on schedule to have the air conditioning repaired and re-installed in the back-of-house area of the restaurant (kitchen) by the end of this week.”
At least one employee said they are hoping that promise will be kept and she won't be punished for blowing the whistle.
“I'm a little nervous about it, but it's good that somebody, hopefully, will realize the kinds of pain and suffering we're doing right now,” the employee said.
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